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.

Embarrassed in Los Angeles, Oilers need to play ‘with a chip on our shoulder’ tonight versus Kings

Edmonton Oilers v Los Angeles Kings

The Edmonton Oilers have a chance to get some revenge on the Los Angeles Kings for last week’s embarrassing 8-2 defeat at Staples Center.

You see, the Kings are in Edmonton tonight, and a loss for the defending champs would deal a serious blow to their playoff hopes.

“They embarrassed us last time, and frankly, I thought we looked like a junior team out there,” said Oilers forward Rob Klinkhammer, per the Edmonton Sun. “It was ugly. We just have to come in with a chip on our shoulder, play hard and play the right way. We can’t feed their game, they are super hungry, they’re making a push for the playoffs and they are a great team. We have to have our best game if we want to have a chance.”

Another factor in Edmonton’s favor, besides revenge, could be fatigue. The Kings played last night in Vancouver, where they lost 2-1 in a shootout. Drew Doughty logged almost 30 minutes in that one. Jonathan Quick was similarly busy in goal, where he faced 38 Canuck shots. There’s even been speculation Martin Jones could get the start tonight.

Of course, while the Oilers haven’t played since Saturday, they’re not counting on a diminished opponent.

“If we have the same effort that we had the other night in L.A., it’s going to be the same result,” said Taylor Hall.

Oilers keeping tabs on Pens, ‘hoping for another pick in the lottery’

Taylor Hall

Several Eastern Conference teams are tracking the ongoing free-fall in Pittsburgh, but there’s a team out west that’s keeping an eye as well — the Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton owns Pittsburgh’s first-round pick at this year’s draft, thanks to January’s David Perron trade, and the Oilers could very well end up with a second crack at the lottery should the Pens miss the playoffs.

“It’s another chip on the roulette table, you could say,” Taylor Hall said, per the Edmonton Sun. “You don’t root for teams to lose or anything like that, but it would certainly be nice to have another shot at that No. 1 pick.”

Rob Klinkhammer, who came to Edmonton in the aforementioned Perron trade, was even more direct.

“Obviously, everyone here is hoping for another pick in the lottery,” he explained.

The Oilers host Los Angeles tonight in a game that’ll go a long way in deciding odds for their own pick. Currently sitting 28th in the NHL, Edmonton has an 11.5 percent crack at the No. 1 pick but, should it slide into 29th (a spot currently held by Arizona, three points back), those odds would increase to 13.5 percent.

As for that potential Pittsburgh pick? If the Pens miss, they’d have between a two and one percent chance of getting the first overall selection — slim, but still a chance. It’s a ray of hope for an Oilers team that hasn’t had many good moments this year, and wants to have something positive to build on.

“We put ourselves into a situation to have a good chance, and that sucks,” he said. “But at the end of the day, you want to do well in that lottery.”