The Detroit Red Wings just can’t stay healthy.
After returning from a 16-game absence (concussion) and playing in Sunday’s shootout loss to Florida, Johan Franzen is back on injured reserve with concussion-like symptoms.
Franzen, who had been out since Dec. 15, played quite a bit against the Panthers — 16:45 TOI — and registered an assist while finishing minus-1. Head coach Mike Babcock was forced to use Franzen at center because Henrik Zetterberg was a late scratch (lower-body), something the Wings’ bench boss wasn’t happy about.
“You come to the rink hopeful [Zetterberg is] going to play,” Babcock said, per Fox Sports Detroit. “Because we didn’t have morning skate we didn’t know. Then we got the news and went from there. We would have liked (Johan) Franzen not to play in the middle his first game back.
“When you’re a winger and you got go in the middle it’s great when you’ve played and you got tempo and you’re in the kind of game shape you want to be. But that’s part of life.”
When healthy, Franzen has been a productive scorer this season, notching nine goals and 23 points in 31 games. This latest setback isn’t just a blow for Detroit, though — it could also have Olympic ramifications, as Franzen was one of the 14 forwards named to the Swedish Olympic squad earlier this month.
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.
The Detroit Red Wings are expecting to get Johan Franzen back in the lineup Sunday, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, as they close out a five-game home stand against the Florida Panthers.
The veteran forward hasn’t played since Dec. 15 due to a concussion suffered on what Franzen thought was a relatively harmless hit from Tampa Bay defenseman Radko Gudas. However, the symptoms, particularly headaches, for a time just wouldn’t let up.
“I thought I was going to be out five days because it wasn’t much of a hit and that’s usually how long it takes before you get rid of the headache,” Franzen said, as per MLive.com.
“It just wouldn’t go away. Just cross my fingers now and hopefully it’s going to stay away.”
In order to make room for Franzen, the Red Wings on Saturday put another veteran forward, Mikael Samuelsson, on waivers.