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March 2, 2017 | 12:05pm ET
Franson, Gionta relieved they weren't traded
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Buffalo Sabres took several calls on some of their players prior to yesterday's 3pm ET trade deadline, but GM Tim Murray held on to some of his more coveted players, much to their relief.

Defensemen Cody Franson and Dmitry Kulikov and captain Brian Gionta attracted the interest of a number of teams, but all three stayed past the deadline.

Gionta had a limited no-trade clause where he could name five teams he would accept a move to. According to the Buffalo News, Murray had spoken to some of those teams on Wednesday and relayed the message to Gionta.

"At the end of the day, this game is a business and anything can happen," Gionta told the News on Thursday morning. "I'm thankful for the open dialogue. I thought we had a pretty good conversation and it's going to stay between us, obviously, but the fact that both sides expressed their positions, it was good."

Franson was on pins and needles for most of the day, waiting for news, one way or another.

"Yesterday was a little bit of a stressful day," he told the News. "There's no way around that, but I'm very happy with the turnout. I enjoy it here. I like it here. I'd like to remain here. When I didn't get the call I was happy."

Kulikov admitted it's "good to stay put" but also told the paper "I would have liked the opportunity (to make a run for the Stanley Cup) somewhere else, too."

Franson, Gionta and Kulikov are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents July 1.

 
 
 

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