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Franzen Having Trouble With Processing Information

from Ansar Khan,

Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen has skated with his teammates the past two days but said he is having difficulty “processing the information that goes on” around him on the ice.

“Just everything; being out with 20 guys and the coach explaining stuff and the sound of pucks hitting sticks, it was just a big blur,” Franzen said Thursday after the morning skate the SAP Center.

That doesn’t sound encouraging, but Franzen said he is making progress, he’s headache-free and that didn’t rule out playing this weekend.

continued including updates on Helm and Datsyuk...

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Comments

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I am beginning to have serious reservations on the longevity of Franzen’s career. With all of the research coming out via ex-NFL players and ex-NHL players and the long-term effect these concussions have on people, a story like this is concerning.

Consider the play that caused Franzen to miss this much time and also to now report that he can’t process information properly: he took a slight shot to the face on a rush at the goal line. We aren’t talking about a big hit against the board, ice, or someone’s shoulder. We are talking about a relatively light blow to the face.

This much damage was caused by that?

This is a guy who can barely sustain contact to the head without sitting for 20 days and on day 20 or 21, reporting that basically his brain is scrambled when there’s too much going on around him.

I think the Mule gets a lot of grief about his streaky play but I think he is a very valuable piece of this team. Losing him is a serious blow. But for his long-term health, this should be a very serious warning sign that maybe hockey is not worth the risk much longer. I can’t imagine how a doctor could hear this news and say: “go ahead and play, you’re fine.” Then again, I’m not a doctor and maybe this isn’t that big a deal…

Posted by VitoLambruski on 01/09/14 at 06:54 PM ET

Alan's avatar

I am beginning to have serious reservations on the longevity of Franzen’s career. With all of the research coming out via ex-NFL players and ex-NHL players and the long-term effect these concussions have on people, a story like this is concerning.

Agree. I would also argue that penalties for high hits should be stiffer, including the ability for the refs to review plays and assess penalties after the fact, despite whether a penalty was called initially or not.

I don’t say that because I think Gudas should have been assessed a penalty or more (he should have), I say that because players in the NHL are supposed to be assets to the league, and a good business does the best it can to protect its assets. It’s abundantly clear that the league is not protecting the players as well as it should, and that needs to change quickly.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/09/14 at 07:16 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Not good.  Gary Roberts and Steve Montador are the first couple of names I can think of who put shots to his head.

Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 01/09/14 at 08:03 PM ET

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Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen has skated with his teammates the past two days but said he is having difficulty “processing the information that goes on” around him on the ice.

Sounds like he’s qualified to be a blogger, then.

I am beginning to have serious reservations on the longevity of Franzen’s career. With all of the research coming out via ex-NFL players and ex-NHL players and the long-term effect these concussions have on people, a story like this is concerning.

What, now you have serious reservations?  Holy bleep.

The dude signed a 11 year contract age age 30, of freaking course there should have been huge concerns about whether he’d be around to serve out that deal, and from day 1.  And that doesn’t even get into the issue of post-career lifestyle for players across sports, which has been an obvious and gigantic issue for anyone who’s paid attention to it.  There aren’t exactly a whole lot of athletes who play contact sports for very long who go on to live fulfilled lives post-career, and a whole heckuva lot more who go broke, go to jail, or just flat out die.

With Franzen, there’s literally no chance he plays out the deal.  Zero.  At the time it was signed the notion was it didn’t matter if he dumped out the last couple years because those were the super small salaries anyway.

I would also argue that penalties for high hits should be stiffer, including the ability for the refs to review plays and assess penalties after the fact, despite whether a penalty was called initially or not.

Here’s the problem.  These leagues aren’t worried about safety, they are worried about liability.  Whether it’s the NHL, the NFL, or whoever… the point isn’t making the game safer, it’s making the game safe enough so that they don’t all get sued for a trillion dollars by 400 estates of former players.

If this was about ‘safety’ it’s the easiest thing in the world to prevent.  Just fine and suspend guys for ridiculous amounts whenever someone gets a concussion and the hit was at all questionable.  Done and done. 

That’s not really the point in any of this though.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 01/09/14 at 08:05 PM ET

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What, now you have serious reservations?  Holy bleep.

The dude signed a 11 year contract age age 30, of freaking course there should have been huge concerns about whether he’d be around to serve out that deal, and from day 1.

HiHD - that’s not what I meant. I never believed he’d play to age 41 - I figured he’d be lucky to be Todd Bertuzzi by the time he’s 36-37. Basically, on his last legs. That’s the career arc of a scoring power forward = those aren’t the guys who generally make it to 40.

Maybe my concern could be better expressed this way: I am beginning to have reservations about Franzen’s ability to live a healthy life for the rest of his years if he continues to play professional hockey. To me, if I’m Franzen, I’m looking at this and saying to myself, “If I don’t quit now, the risk that I am going to be living Chris Pronger’s life in perpetuity by the time I hit 35.”

My concern is both that Franzen appears to be at a much higher risk of experiencing severe side effects for the rest of his life if he didn’t quit soon. I am concerned in his long-term health and the fact that he may realize (or he should realize) that he should think really hard about retiring.

Hopefully that explains my point better.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 01/09/14 at 08:21 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

There aren’t exactly a whole lot of athletes who play contact sports for very long who go on to live fulfilled lives post-career, and a whole heckuva lot more who go broke, go to jail, or just flat out die.

While I dont disagree with anything anyone above your post has said about Franzen, or anything you’ve written below, the above statement is a rather broad claim to make considering the number of high caliber athletes there are in the world, and how few relative to that number have reported problems.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 01/09/14 at 08:28 PM ET

SK77's avatar

My concern is both that Franzen appears to be at a much higher risk of experiencing severe side effects for the rest of his life if he didn’t quit soon. I am concerned in his long-term health and the fact that he may realize (or he should realize) that he should think really hard about retiring.

Hopefully that explains my point better.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 01/09/14 at 07:21 PM ET

You made your point perfectly clear the first time—and there’s a ton of validity to it.

Whatever your opinion of Franzen the player is, he unfortunately seems to be exhibiting signs of fragility that call into question what his actual quality of life will be like post-hockey.

If I were in the position where I’d already collected millions of dollars and it’d gotten to the point where a light blow to the face could sometimes result in a concussion I’d be shutting it down immediately, regardless of how passionate I was about playing hockey.

Posted by SK77 on 01/09/14 at 08:31 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

Ten bucks says Quincey thinks the same thing on a daily basis

being out with 20 guys and the coach explaining stuff and the sound of pucks hitting sticks, it was just a big blur,”

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 01/09/14 at 08:51 PM ET

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it’s the easiest thing in the world to prevent. 

Please oh great swami how do you do it, if “it’s the easiest thing in the world to prevent?”

Probably have peewee’s become nhler’s right?

Sounds like he’s qualified to be a blogger, then. 

Like you spend enough time outside of Sammy’s underwear to know.

Here’s the problem. 

You’re the actual problem but you’re too dense to know it.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/10/14 at 12:04 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by howeandhowe on 01/09/14 at 11:04 PM ET

It’s getting difficult to decide who is worse, HockeyinHD or you.

Posted by Garth on 01/10/14 at 09:57 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

It’s getting difficult to decide who is worse, HockeyinHD or you.

I was going to say that the most accurate observation HiHD has ever made was the one where he pointed out H&H has a Pavlovian response to seeing his posts.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 01/10/14 at 10:20 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.