With Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard healthy, Johan Franzen is the last Detroit player left on the injured reserve list. It sounds like the Red Wings won’t be back to full strength anytime soon though.
Franzen, who is dealing with a concussion sustained on Jan. 6, still isn’t ready to resume even off-ice workouts.
“I believe he’s getting a little bit better,” Red Wings GM Ken Holland told MLive.com. “I know he’s working with Dr. (Jeff) Kutcher (a specialist at Michigan who treats sports concussions). I get a report occasionally from (trainer) Piet Van Zant when Piet talks to Dr. Kutcher. But (Franzen) is not here. He’s not on the bike. I don’t know how far he is away.”
The 35-year-old has a history of concussions and it most recently cost him 22 contests in 2013-14. He has seven goals and 22 points in 33 contests in 2014-15.
Detroit put Johan Franzen on injured reserve with an upper-body ailment Thursday, just hours after taking this hit from Edmonton’s Rob Klinkhammer on Wednesday night (FF to 4:57):
Franzen left the game, returned almost immediately, then felt poorly on the flight out of Edmonton later in the evening, per MLive. The Swedish forward does have a history of concussions, including one last season that knocked him out of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
As for last night’s hit, Klinkhammer wasn’t penalized on the play.
To replace Franzen on the active roster, Detroit has called up Teemu Pulkkinen from the Grand Rapids Griffins. Pulkkinen has been on fire in the American League lately and, on Wednesday, set a Grand Rapids franchise record by scoring a goal in his eighth consecutive game.
The Finnish forward currently leads the AHL in goalscoring, with 20 in 33 games.
Detroit forward Johan Franzen doesn’t have a disciplinary hearing scheduled for his headshot on New York’s Carl Hagelin on Wednesday night, a NHL spokesman confirmed.
Here’s the incident in question:
Franzen wasn’t penalized on the play. Hagelin looked shaken up on the bench, but returned for a couple more shifts late in the frame.
The incident came on a night in which Detroit expressed frustration with the officiating. Franzen’s headshot came after he tangled with Hagelin in front of the faceoff dot; what’s more, Hagelin had earlier drawn Detroit’s ire for high-sticking Danny DeKeyser midway through the third period, which went uncalled.
“We should have been on a four-minute power play in the third period,” an irate Mike Babcock said following the game, per Yahoo. “That was obvious. But what do you do?”
It’s worth noting that while the league still could schedule a hearing with Franzen, it would likely need to happen quickly given Detroit plays again tomorrow night in New Jersey.
Johan Franzen finished Detroit’s 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers without spending any time in the sin bin, but he might face supplemental discipline for his actions on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old forward sucker punched Carl Hagelin in the back of the head during the third period of the contest. Hagelin was slow to get up after the blow, but he remained in the game.
You can see that below:
That happened after Hagelin caught Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a high stick earlier in the game. That incident also went unpunished.
You may remember a brief skirmish from February between Chris Neil and Johan Franzen, in which Franzen said Neil “usually shows up when the game is over and tries to be the hero,” to which Neil responded by calling Franzen gutless before suggesting he “drop his purse, take the lipstick out, put it on his lips.”
But you know who doesn’t remember it?
“I forgot about that,” Neil said. “This is a new year. We have more important things than that. We have to worry about getting two points. This doesn’t change my style of game; just go out and play the way that I do.”
Asked if the hostility might be rekindled, Franzen said, “We’ll see. It’s up to him.
“I know what he’s doing and he’s been doing that for a long time, and he’s been doing a great job of doing it.”
Neil fights numerous times a season. Franzen doesn’t fight. Asked how he will respond if Neil challenges him, Franzen said, “Hopefully he gets a penalty and I don’t.”
In Neil’s defense (for forgetting), I forgot about this too. I had to go back and watch the video:
Fun stuff. That was the final meeting between the two clubs last year, meaning tomorrow night’s tilt in Ottawa will be the first time Franzen and Neil have met since all that went down. And much like the last time they met, Franzen is coming off an injury (groin, not a concussion as earlier stated — he returned on Sunday after a six-game absence) so it’s unlikely he’ll want to engage in any shenanigans.