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Abel to Yzerman

Franzen’s Inevitable Exit

Paul just posted this, and unless you've read our Deep Diggers for years you have no idea just how unique it is.

It's a very rare situation, a Wing beat writer actually criticizing a player. It just doesn't happen. It's not allowed.

Unless, of course, it is.  By Mike Babcock, or by Ken Holland.

And in the case of Johan Franzen? It's batteries release.  The Wings are obviously dissatisfied with his play, as we all are.  The media has been highly butt-hurt with his refusal to speak with them over the years.  But they've never mentioned just how irritating they found it until today.

...but talking to reporters through times good and bad is a reflection on a player, and it reflects as poorly on Franzen as does another silent spring.

Read St. James' article and understand how much of a deviation it is from the Deep Digger MO.

He's as good as gone.  Holland and Babcock are going to shed him this summer and they've given the media the ok to pave the road out of town.

Franzen, 34, doesn't like being on camera — his goal when HBO was in town in December for “24/7” was to not be seen on any episode.

Think that sentence would have been written if Franzen was scoring? Nope. 

The Diggers have probably always been highly pissed, but were never allowed to voice it because that's not the way business is conducted when you, essentially, work for the Wings.

Tip of the iceberg. We'll see more.  First it's the Diggers, then it's the columnists.  There's blood in the water and the organ-I-zation has given the ok for feeding season to officially begin.

Adios, Johan.  Thanks for a few good years, five years ago.

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Comments

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bigfrog's avatar

As expected. Bye Franzen.

Posted by bigfrog on 04/25/14 at 03:08 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

You’d get a real good return for him.  Maybe put in a deal with kindl or lash..  Just saying we have lots of fs out of options with long careers ahead of them and some vets wed like back too that manage to somehow make a difference if not on the scorehseet.  We need D.  We all of a sudden are deep with pm it producing forwards.  Hopefully they’re learning bout playing scoring and paying the price this year and be all the more effective next.  Franzen could be a great trade piece givingnwhat he can produce vs. His cap hit.  Just don’t think he’s got a niche on this team anymore and spots are limited and we can’t keep hinging our winning on him going.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/25/14 at 03:25 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

He’s as good as gone.  Holland and Babcock are going to shed him this summer and they’ve given the media the ok to pave the road out of town.

Well, now that it’s been posted here at A2Y, it’s officially official. So I’m gonna be really, really pissed if it doesn’t happen. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/25/14 at 03:33 PM ET

Dakkster's avatar

Franzen + for Ehrhoff?

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 04/25/14 at 03:37 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

It’s kind of too bad the feeding frenzy couldn’t wait until the Wings’ playoff run is officially over, but yeah, I think he’s gone.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 04/25/14 at 03:43 PM ET

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Ken Holland is on the phone right now desperately trying to convince Trevor Linden to take Franzen, Nyquist, Tatar and a fourth asset for Alex Edler.

Posted by Garth on 04/25/14 at 03:47 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

It’s kind of too bad the feeding frenzy couldn’t wait until the Wings’ playoff run is officially over, but yeah, I think he’s gone.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 04/25/14 at 03:43 PM ET

I was gonna say that myself. 

I wonder if Marian Hossa is available for comment?

 

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/25/14 at 03:49 PM ET

Paul's avatar

My feelings- Babcock knows the only way the Wings have a chance is if Franzen gets hot, quickly.

You have Zetterberg moving his legs but not going anywhere, Datsyuk looks like he is slowing down again, Nyquist and Tatar are getting their first real taste of the playoffs.

Sheahan has slowed, Jurco needs experience, so who is left?  Franzen and Babcock is trying to light a fire under him and has nothing to lose by speaking out about him.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/25/14 at 04:10 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

Imagine the kind of defenseman the Wings could have gotten for Franzen + Jarnkrok!

I kid. Kind of. I hope he’s packaged for a good d-man, assuming he is, in fact, gone.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 04/25/14 at 04:13 PM ET

Primis's avatar

As people slice Franzen up, nobody seems interested in why Daniel Alfredsson can’t play games in an elimination situation, or where his scoring prowess has gone since what, March?  February?  New year?

Posted by Primis on 04/25/14 at 04:23 PM ET

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My feelings- Babcock knows the only way the Wings have a chance is if Franzen gets hot, quickly.

You have Zetterberg moving his legs but not going anywhere, Datsyuk looks like he is slowing down again, Nyquist and Tatar are getting their first real taste of the playoffs.

Sheahan has slowed, Jurco needs experience, so who is left?  Franzen and Babcock is trying to light a fire under him and has nothing to lose by speaking out about him.

Completely agreed.  But, Paul, do you have the sense that this is a “last chance” for Franzen and that he could be moved this offseason if he doesn’t answer the bell?

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/25/14 at 04:26 PM ET

Paul's avatar

CE, I think the Wings will have a serious sit down with Franzen during exit interviews and then decide what direction they will take.

Maybe he needs a change of scene, maybe he needs to understand he is one of the leaders on the team even if he doesn’t like that tag.

Who knows what will happen, maybe we can start a Franzen for Ovechkin rumor!

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/25/14 at 05:10 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Ken Holland is on the phone right now desperately trying to convince Trevor Linden to take Franzen, Nyquist, Tatar and a fourth asset for Alex Edler.

Posted by Garth on 04/25/14 at 03:47 PM ET

now that I believe, if the 4th is a 1st round pick

Posted by Hootinani on 04/25/14 at 06:02 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Who knows what will happen, maybe we can start a Franzen for Ovechkin rumor!

pass

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/25/14 at 06:02 PM ET

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Franzen has consistently been a no show for the past 5 years, its time to let him go. He scores every other 20 games, 5 goals sure but the twenty game droughts that have become so predictable are too much for his salary. He’s still around because he had a couple of fantastic playoff series in 08 and 09 but not much since. 2009 was a long time ago Kenny!

Posted by Bay Area Wings fan on 04/25/14 at 06:13 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

remember this from 2012?

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/25/14 at 06:23 PM ET

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So, the starting goalie got benched and it doesn’t seem like anyone thinks he’s gone… but Babcock calls Franzen out in the press, plays him anyway, and people think Franzen’s the one heading out of town?

Somebody’s got to walk themselves back though the logic trail on that one.

To be clear, I don’t think either guy is gone… but holy heck, if anybody was going to go wouldn’t it be the guy who just lost his job in the bleeping playoffs?

Granted, blogs like this are crack for the people who have designated Franzen as a player to hate, but were the same standards applied across the board that they use on Franzen they’d hate like 60% of the team.

Seriously, the past 4 years Franzen’s scored almost 29 goals per 82 games in the regular season, and that’s dipped to 19 per 82 in the playoffs.  That deserves to get you run out of town when you make under 4 per against the cap?

On the list of players who ought to go, I can’t imagine someone sensible who would have Franzen even in the top 10, much less at the top of the list.

You guys are letting the playoff series addle your brains.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/25/14 at 06:46 PM ET

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As people slice Franzen up, nobody seems interested in why Daniel Alfredsson can’t play games in an elimination situation, or where his scoring prowess has gone since what, March?  February?  New year?

From 2/6 on, Abdelkader has 2 goals.
Alfredsson has 4 goals his past 24 games.
Since December 1st Helm has scored in 3 of 33 games.

The only offensively relied upon forward who doesn’t deserve to get tasered is Nyquist, and even he hasn’t scored a goal in the past 10 games.

Even better, I’d love to see a Venn diagram of the people who cut Fedorov loads of slack for his ‘foibles’ and how that circle intersects with the people jumping up and down on Franzen with both feet right now.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/25/14 at 06:59 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

jimmy has the flu, not “benched”.

and as for mule, it’s simply a case of ‘what have you done for me lately?’

he is needed and expected to produce, especially given our entire situation - a veteran with supposed goal scoring capability, that was given the long term contract, earned for being a goal scorer in the playoffs, that is being looked at to fill gaps when Z and/or Dats is/are out or at less than (much less than) 100%....

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/25/14 at 07:00 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

agreed stoney. This is when you(Mule) are needed and really earn your money. Just do it. Screw the media and focus on your game. Media doesnt pay your salary.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 04/25/14 at 07:11 PM ET

SK77's avatar

So, the starting goalie got benched and ...

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/25/14 at 06:46 PM ET

Wow, usually I have to slog through to your second sentence before you start making shit up.

Posted by SK77 on 04/25/14 at 07:11 PM ET

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jimmy has the flu, not “benched”.

Yeah, I’ve seen that particular strain of flu before too.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/25/14 at 07:12 PM ET

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Wow, usually I have to slog through to your second sentence before you start making shit up.

“Mike Babcock said he thought Jonas Gustavsson played well so undecided about who starts Game 5 as of now.”

Are you truly this credulous?  Seriously, does Babcock have to rent a billboard along I-94 that says ‘HOWARD IS BENCHED, LIKE FOR REELZ!11!1!

Yeah, 36ish hours out from Game 5 he’s got such a great handle on what Howard’s condition is going to be that he just makes the call now instead of waiting until gametime?  Or saying ‘we’ll see how Jimmy feels?’  Anything like that?

Yikes.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/25/14 at 07:17 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Yeah, I’ve seen that particular strain of flu before too.

the suggestion that jimmy was scratched for lack of performance isn’t supported by the numbers.

I posted this in LB comments last night:

some perspective ...

Evaluating Jimmy Howard

regardless if our goaltending is good, bad, average ... or whatever,

we won’t win if we don’t score more goals then they do.

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/24/14 at 06:30 PM ET

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/25/14 at 07:22 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Yeah, 36ish hours out from Game 5 he’s got such a great handle on what Howard’s condition is going to be that he just makes the call now instead of waiting until gametime?  Or saying ‘we’ll see how Jimmy feels?’  Anything like that?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/25/14 at 07:17 PM ET

Howard led the Wings onto the ice for warmups before becoming so sick that he couldn’t even sit on the bench once Game 4 started.

Less than 24 hours ‘til game time and Howard hasn’t even been back on the ice yet, but Babcock said he expects Howard to be well enough to be the backup tomorrow.

This isn’t exactly two shooters on the grassy knoll material.

Posted by SK77 on 04/25/14 at 07:39 PM ET

Avatar

As people slice Franzen up, nobody seems interested in why Daniel Alfredsson can’t play games in an elimination situation, or where his scoring prowess has gone since what, March?  February?  New year?

Apples and oranges. Alfredsson is dealing with the same back issues he’s had all season, and when he plays, he gives 100% and plays smart other than one giveaway in game one that did not lead to a goal. Franzen is healthy, and Franzen tends to quit on plays in the playoffs. It’s like if he can’t score then he figures why bother trying and he’s done giving it 100% at that point.

But, with that being said, I don’t think Franzen has been the problem this series, and he doesn’t deserve to be made the scape goat despite his sub par play at times. The Wings look like a high school team playing a professional team. There is not one player on the Wings who can be singled out and blamed for their complete lackluster performance thus far in this series - a series which will most likely end tomorrow. The Wings have a bunch of inexperienced kids on the team and it shows. But, this is the group Babs and the vocal fans wanted all season. Young inexperienced guys with speed. And that’s what we have and why we are being easily man handled by a team full of guys who may not have the speed, but have the size, experience, and hockey smarts to win games. It shouldn’t be very surprising to anyone. If it is surprising, then you should blame the coach and every fan who got their panties all bunched up during the regular season whenever an “old” senior citizen guy in his 30’s got to play over a young guy in his 20’s. I’m not saying we would be doing better if Cleary, Samuelsson, Bertuzzi and etc were in the lineup now instead of Tatar and the other young guys who don’t seem to belong in this series, but maybe we would be. But, we will never know will we?

As I said, we have the team of young guys Bab’s and the vocal fans wanted, and we are getting the results a team full of young inexperienced guys get in the playoffs. This is why the Stanley Cup has never been one by a team full of young inexperienced players, and why the Wings have always done the best when the media and “fans” were saying they were too old to win.

 

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 04/25/14 at 07:44 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

You’d get a real good return for him.
Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/25/14 at 03:25 PM ET

It is almost impossible to trade jackass.

First, according to Khan! (4/11/2009) there was either a 5 or six year no trade clause(NTC), so he still has one or two more seasons of veto power over a trade.

Second, according to CapGeek, jackass’s cap hit for the next six seasons is $3,954,545 ($23,727,270 total). However, the actual terms of the contract call for $5mil, $5mil, $3.5mil, $2mil, $1mil & $1mil over the last six seasons ($17.5mil total).

If I understand the CBA correctly the combination of his NTC and cap hit vs. actual salary make him virtually untradeable.

If jackass were traded, his new team would owe him less than his cap hit. For example, in the last two years of his contract, his new team would owe him $1mil, but for purposes of the Salary Cap, jackass’s salary would be $3.945mil, nearly $3mil difference. For a cheap-ass team like the Panthers or the Islanders, jackass’s contract would be manna from heaven because they have trouble getting to the salary floor ($16mil less than the cap). Think jackass would take a trade to the Isle or South Beach? Not likely.

What about a contender that spends close to the cap? Those teams are more concerned with winning than money. No GM from a contending team that spends close to the cap would touch him because they’d be wasting up to almost $3mil in cap space.

Mind you, this is all cap talk. First, one would have to find a team that thought he was still capable of playing at the high level demanded by his cap hit. Good luck with that.

The Wings have one compliance buy-out left and a very short window after this season ends to use it. PRAY to whatever deity you believe in that jackass doesn’t get hurt because teams are not permitted to use a cap compliance buy-out on an injured player.

The only way to get rid of jackass is through the cap compliance buy-out.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/25/14 at 07:59 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Man Up

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/25/14 at 08:30 PM ET

Avatar

If I understand the CBA correctly the combination of his NTC and cap hit vs. actual salary make him virtually untradeable.

There are at least a few teams that would jump at the chance to have a guy help make sure they’re above the cap floor while not having to the full cap hit.

Posted by Garth on 04/25/14 at 10:28 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

There are at least a few teams that would jump at the chance to have a guy help make sure they’re above the cap floor while not having to the full cap hit.

His point was that Franzen would likely accept a trade to none of those teams.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 04/25/14 at 11:12 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

I know I’ve been very frustrated with Franzen in the past, but I’ve got no problem with him this series. He’s workin hard, fighting for the puck on the boards, skating to get open, and doing a decent job bullying his way through the D with the puck like a power forward should . He’s using his legs, not coasting or standing around like he has for long stretches in the past. The puck just isn’t finding the twine and that sucks especially now.

Maybe that frustration gets him run out of town, I dunno.

The problem all year, and most of this series has been the inability to get the puck out of our own zone. Defensively, guys are in position, but the team has trouble re-establishing possession and that sooner or later that kills you. They’ve got even more trouble breaking out of the zone even when unchallenged. Not enough quick short passes to guys moving the right direction. Get the forecheckers spinning around chasing those short passes and you’ll have that vaunted speed through the neutral zone we heard about going into the series. This is a problem with system and a problem with talent. One of those can be fixed before game 5.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 04/26/14 at 01:03 AM ET

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Franzen is worthy of criticism but so are most of the players on the team. They have allowed the Bruins to maul them and either won’t or are scared to engage. The Bruins are getting away with blatant rule violations and, in truth, the Wings are likely to be called for anything close to the same gooney.

Franzen will not be easy to move but his health is a concern and may be the biggest factor in his performance. If so, and he is worried about another concussion, then he needs to retire forthwith.

Meanwhile, if some of these issues are infecting the dressing room, we have a dysfunctional team right now and it may explain the utter lack of effort on any given night. Just speculating…but something is definitely amiss with his team.

Posted by NewfieWing on 04/26/14 at 01:34 AM ET

Avatar

His point was that Franzen would likely accept a trade to none of those teams.

My point is that he doesn’t have a choice.

Capgeek and the following article suggest that he doesn’t have any NTC.

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2013/07/red_wings_ask_ansar_questions_12.html

Khan himself proposes that he could be dealt.  Of course, the prerequisite for that would be Ken Holland learning how to make a hockey trade.

Posted by Garth on 04/26/14 at 02:42 AM ET

perfection's avatar

but something is definitely amiss with his team.

yeah, it’s called ‘playing the best team in the league’ when our best players (you know the guys who make almost twice what Franzen makes) are playing at prob 70% at best.

this team overachieved last year and they way overachieved this year. They could have done some damage if they got 7th seed and while they can theoretically beat the Bruins, they are just not there yet in terms of being able to beat them in 7 game series. This was year two of our post-Lidstrom rebuild. Both years we made the playoffs. With or without Franzen, we should only get better next year. The only thing ‘amiss’ here are some incredibly unrealistic expectations. 

 

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/26/14 at 04:19 AM ET

perfection's avatar

also, I don’t know if any of you caught the Griffins game. all of our guys who just came from Europe and Juniors, and that does not even include Mantha yet, played spectacular and were a big part of the team pulling out a double OT victory. It’s kind of silly to think 2-3 seasons from now when Gus, Tats, and the gang are all entering their primes, this new batch of kids, including Mantha, are going to be entering “overripe” mode. Throw in Mrazek and all the quality Dmen that are right around the corner and we should have ourselves a bone fide window for the cup.The future is definitely bright.

and I said this in a post earlier or yesterday but it’s worth repeating. Franzen at $3.9 mil isn’t the problem starting next season. It’s Weiss at $4.9mil. He cannot be bought out. He cannot be traded. Here’s hoping he surprises us and comes back strong. But between he and Helmer, I think Franzen is a distant third in terms of value/production ratio.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/26/14 at 04:29 AM ET

Chet's avatar

do player agents read and comment on this site!?

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/26/14 at 04:31 AM ET

dougie's avatar

I fully expect to see Franzen in a Wings sweater next season, if for no other reason than the fact that it will lessen my enjoyment of watching the Wings play.

I simply cannot abide people with high talent levels who don’t consistently produce. I have a guy like that working for me now, and he is gone,gone,gone as soon as I can find someone with even marginal talent, and a will to succeed.

Posted by dougie on 04/26/14 at 06:06 AM ET

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I think the guy had issues with panic attacks whenever he had to give an interview. He stiffs some reporter and it turns into a big thing. I’d rather have him concentrating on his game than worrying about the press. I think all this is cheap when they still have some hockey left to play.

He was originally brought in as a checking forward. All those clumps of goals were a bonus no one was expecting. He still is a good defensive forward. If Hossa had of signed with Detroit and Franzen with the Hawks dontcha think the talk would have been the other way around?

Franzen has always looked like he was floating around out there. His defense is still there, but that drive and determination we expect, come playoff time, isn’t. Maybe he doesn’t have someone who can get him the puck anymore. Maybe he’s hurt?

Might be for the best when they can still get something. I’m sure Vancouver would give them a good package for him. I’ll remind myself not to get ticked off at Holland when he scores 35-40 playing with the Sedins.

But, this is the group Babs and the vocal fans wanted all season

Exactly! I sure got what I asked for.

Posted by leftwing on 04/26/14 at 07:53 AM ET

Alan's avatar

Even better, I’d love to see a Venn diagram of the people who cut Fedorov loads of slack for his ‘foibles’ and how that circle intersects with the people jumping up and down on Franzen with both feet right now.

When your team is doing well, the invisible players are afforded an opportunity to hide a little.

When you squeaked into the playoffs and are on the brink of elimination, the flaws are readily apparent.

I’m willing to give Helm a pass, because he missed quite a long period of time just trying to figure out what the hell was going on with him. Nyquist has sort of hit his sophmore slump a little early and at the wrong time. Everyone else? The bus is parked out front and waiting for bodies to get tossed under it.

If our scoring was decent, we wouldn’t be talking so much about Franzen like this. It’d be more of a “Huh, mule has been held scoreless? He’ll heat up soon, I’m sure of it.” Instead, it’s “WHERE THE FUCH HAS MULE BEEN THIS ENTIRE SEASON?”.

You know it, I know it, Uncle Mike knows it, and Kenny knows it. These diggers have been chomping at the bit since Franzen went cold to throw him under the bus, bags packed and all. They’ve got the go-ahead, and here we are: A little tough love from the Detroit faithful, and possibly a bit of inspiration for the others that have been quiet for a while: Get your crap together and start executing our system.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/26/14 at 08:00 AM ET

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The Wings have one compliance buy-out left and a very short window after this season ends to use it. PRAY to whatever deity you believe in that jackass doesn’t get hurt because teams are not permitted to use a cap compliance buy-out on an injured player.

The only way to get rid of jackass is through the cap compliance buy-out.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/25/14 at 07:59 PM ET

He is hurt, depression, I would think.  That could change anyone’s work habits.

Posted by guy on 04/26/14 at 08:13 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com