Tag: Rob Klinkhammer

Johan Franzen

Wings’ Franzen: ‘I’m excited to try to get back and have a good year’


Red Wings’ forward Johan Franzen hasn’t played since suffering a concussion on Jan. 6, but remains hopeful he’ll be ready for Detroit’s season opener on Oct. 9 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 35-year-old took part in an informal skate at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday with fellow teammates, but has yet to participate in any kind of contact drills.

“It feels good so far; it’s probably too early to tell until I start playing games,” Franzen told MLive.com. “I’m going at it hard – a little bit too much, actually – just to see that I can take it.”

Franzen suffered his latest concussion on a hit from Edmonton’s Rob Klinkhammer. The concussion limited Franzen to just 33 games last season where he scored seven goals and 15 assists.

Despite the concussion troubles, the Swede has not considered retirement.

“I haven’t been there yet, really, in my thoughts,” Franzen said. “It’s been so many tough years here the last 2-3 years with injuries; I just want to have a good year. I want to decide on my own when I quit. I’m excited to try to get back and have a good year.

“Being where I was mid-season, not being able to get out of bed, it really makes you appreciate being able to do what we do.”

The Red Wings believe Franzen will be fully cleared when he takes his physical later this month at training camp.

According to Ansar Khan, Franzen suffered his latest setback last week, but continues his rigorous workouts.

“It’s four hours of working out, going on the ice, going biking, going full out, it kind of triggers (symptoms),” Franzen said. “I don’t know if it’s smart or not, but I do that. I think if I can do that, I can get through a game, or 82 games, hopefully.

“The way I work out then is going to be different than it is now. It’s going to be shorter, more explosive. A game is going to be different and I think it’s going to be easier. You’re going to get bumped a lot and there’s the mental stuff, too, but physically it’s going to be easier than what I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks.”

Franzen has five years remaining on his current 11-year, $43.5 million deal.

Pens looking to acquire a first round pick

2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7

It’s expected to be the deepest draft in over a decade so there’s no surprise the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to get themselves a first round pick.

GM Jim Rutherford dealt the Pens’ first round selection, which would’ve been 16th overall, to the Edmonton Oilers along with Rob Klinkhammer for David Perron in January.

“I’ll certainly pursue it,” Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, adding, “I don’t know if we’ll be able to pick up one or not.”

Edmonton along with Buffalo, Toronto, Arizona, Philadelphia and Winnipeg all have two first round selections at next month’s draft.

According to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox, the Sabres, who hold the second overall and the 21st overall selections, are listening to offers for No. 21. Buffalo GM Tim Murray ideally wants to move up or acquire a young player in return for the pick.

“There are some teams that have acquired an abundance of first-round picks, and they may not need them all,” Rutherford said. “I’ve actually talked to a couple of those teams already.”

Due to other trades the Penguins have only one selection, their second-rounder, in the first four rounds of this year’s draft.

Wings’ Franzen has ‘no clue’ if he’ll return to playing

Johan Franzen

Johan Franzen says he’s finally starting to feel better, but isn’t sure if he’ll return to playing.

Franzen suffered a concussion following a hit from Oilers’ forward Rob Klinkhammer on Jan. 6 and did not play again.

“This time was a little bit scarier,” the 35-year-old told The Macomb Daily. “For two months you’re not able to pick up your kids or play with your kids for more than two minutes. It makes you think a little bit, but you know I’m slowly getting better, so that puts my mind to rest.

“I feel a lot better. I was in a really dark place maybe not the first month because you think it’s going to get better. But then when it doesn’t get better, you start wondering.”

Franzen, who has had multiple concussions during his 10 seasons in Detroit, was hoping to return to the Red Wings lineup if Detroit had advanced past Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs, but suffered a setback.

“Certainly the message the last month was he wanted to play,” said Red Wings’ GM Ken Holland. “He told us a couple weeks ago he felt great and was on the right path. If we advanced in the playoffs he was hoping he’d be available. Then he had a bit of a setback.

“People with concussions it’s hard to know, but the hope is over the summer he gets 100 percent healthy.”

As for his future in the game, both Franzen and Holland are unsure if the Wings’ forward will play again.

“I don’t think anybody knows,” Holland said. “When you’re dealing with people that have concussions and he’s (had) a bit of a history. That’s a decision that’ll be determined between Mule and Dr. (Jeffrey) Kutcher.”

Added Franzen: “I have no clue, but I’m just happy I’m feeling better. Hopefully, it’s going to progress a little bit every week and I will be fine.”

Franzen has five years left his deal with a cap hit of $3.95 million. If he does not play again, he will likely remain long-term injured reserve so that the Red Wings do not incur cap recapture penalties.