Red Wings lose Franzen, might get Samuelsson back


Johan Franzen couldn’t complete Detroit’s 2-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks because of a lower-body injury.

“They’re going to go back and have a look at him,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Obviously, he couldn’t play in the third. We’ll see what happens. It was serious enough to leave the game.”

Franzen is hard to replace, but at least Detroit is likely to get back another forward now that Mikael Samuelsson (hand) has been given the green light to return. Detroit got more good news with blueliner Kyle Quincey (fractured cheekbone) now being healthy enough to workout.

There’s still no timetable for Todd Bertuzzi’s (leg) return, but the good news is that he’s been skating lately.

In other news, Carlo Colaiacovo, who was activated off of the injured reserve list last week, has been sent to the AHL on a conditioning stint. Colaiacovo hasn’t played since Jan. 21, so this will give him a chance to get back into game shape in time for Detroit’s final push for a playoff spot.

Detroit will attempt to bounce back against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. That won’t be easy, but the Red Wings need every point they can get.

Their loss against the Sharks was a costly one as they allowed San Jose to pull within one point of them. If it’s any consolation though, Pavel Datsyuk gave Logan Couture some nightmare fuel:

Stars to scratch Nichushkin after rough outing versus Avs?

Craig Anderson
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Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.

Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.

Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.

“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.

“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”

The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.

He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.

Report: Teams ‘screaming bloody murder’ about Richards settlement

Mike Richards

When the Los Angeles Kings announced they’d settled with Mike Richards, it didn’t take long for the accusations of salary-cap circumvention to materialize.

And though NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was adamant that the settlement was “far from” circumvention, apparently not everyone agrees with the league in that regard.

“Privately, other teams are screaming bloody murder and are threatening to make an issue about it at December’s Board of Governors’ meeting,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

Friedman goes into more detail in his story, so click the link to read more.

But remember how we wrote that the issue in this case was precedent, and that the “NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door”?

Well, one agent posed a good question to Friedman: “What’s to stop other teams from trying this?”