Johan Franzen

Wings notes: Franzen returns; Samuelsson clears waivers, sent to AHL


Johan Franzen is set to return for the Detroit Red Wings and they’re sending Mikael Samuelsson to the AHL to make it happen.

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports Franzen will return to the Wings lineup against the Florida Panthers today and helps give them another of their usual weapons. 

The Red Wings are still without Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) and are also missing goalie Jimmy Howard (knee) but getting Franzen and his goal-scoring ability back should give Detroit a lift.

Samuelsson, meanwhile, is on his way to Grand Rapids after clearing waivers, but the Wings won’t be getting a break on his $3 million salary cap hit. Samuelsson’s contract is a 35+ deal which means the Wings can’t bury his money in the minors.  

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: