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.