After one-game return, Franzen back on IR with concussion symptoms


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.

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

Johan Franzen

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.  

No more headaches for Red Wings’ Franzen and he’s hoping it stays that way


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.

No Franzen (concussion) for Winter Classic, Alfredsson (groin) misses Monday


The good news is that the Detroit Red Wings look to be a healthier team headed into the 2014 Winter Classic. The bad news is that they won’t be 100 percent, though.

Johan Franzen has already been ruled out after failing to make much progress with a concussion while it’s hard not to wonder about Daniel Alfredsson, who sat out Monday’s game against the Nashville Predators with groin problems. Both accounts come from MLive.com’s Ansar Khan.

“Of course (it’s disappointing), but it is what it is,” Franzen said.

(“It is what it is” ranks up there as far as sad phrases go, probably alongside “I won’t be able to play in front of a gigantic crowd on an enormous stage.”)

It could just be that Alfredsson is playing it safe so that he can play on Wednesday, but either way, the Red Wings will be a little shorthanded against the Toronto Maple Leafs (who have problems of their own).

(H/T to The Score.)

Franzen (concussion) out Tuesday vs. Anaheim


Detroit forward Johan Franzen will be out of the lineup on Tuesday when the Wings take on the Ducks, head coach Mike Babcock announced.

Franzen is on “concussion protocol” following a high hit from Tampa Bay defenseman Radko Gudas during a 3-0 loss in Detroit on Sunday. The incident occurred early in the second period and, after Gudas went unpenalized, Franzen blew up at officials and earned a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Franzen then left the game and didn’t return, finishing with just 6:50 TOI.

“All those guys that get bumped in the head — you know what it’s like in the league now? They’re gone forever, it seems like. So I don’t know what that means,” Babcock told the Detroit Free Press following the game. “I don’t know, protocol-wise, what’ll happen. We’ll figure that out.”

It remains unclear if the Wings will recall a forward from AHL Grand Rapids to replace Franzen in the lineup. The 33-year-old Swede has nine goals and 22 points in 30 games this year, averaging just over 17 minutes per night.

Franzen will now join a pretty sizable list of injured Wings, joining Henrik Zetterberg, Stephen Weiss, Danny DeKeyser and Darren Helm on the shelf. Justin Abdelkader is also currently out, undergoing the same concussion protocol as Franzen.