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Johan Franzen Depreciation

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The Wings have put together a great season thus far. Filppula has emerged as the player we knew he could be. The third line is starting to mesh into a real force, the type you need to win in the playoffs. The back-end has shown sparks of brilliance prior to recent miscues. Datsyuk continues to prove time and again he is the elite among the elite, despite having less help than most national media think he does. Even a down season from Zetterberg has shown speed and effort which I believe will see him closer to 70 points than the 62 points he is on pace for.

The real sore spot from game to game is the disappearing act of Johan Franzen. He has become a floater, getting away from the inside game that has made him successful in the past. His goals are not coming as easy as he seems to hope, coinciding with his lack of effort. For me, there are two categories Wings forwards have fallen into: 1) those who seem to put in the effort every night, pick up their linemates, and often seem to deserve more on the scoresheet than their linemates' play allows, 2) the passengers, the beneficiary, floating, showing little effort while allowing the first group to do all the work, often seeming to "pad" their stats on the backs of their more tenacious linemates.

For me, Datsyuk and Filppula have proven themselves members of the first group. On the flipside, Hudler and Franzen are prime examples of the latter group. Franzen in particular has shown diminishing effort and thus diminishing returns since his 11-year contract was signed at the tail end of the 2008-2009 season. Watching his work ethic, or lack thereof, game in game out has to be a tremendous frustration for Wings coaching and management, as it is for fans. After a decent start to his season, Franzen returned to his inconsistent, uninterested ways:

This season he is on pace for: 81gp 29g 31a 60pt (beneficiary of Datsyuk)

In the last 22gp: 11pts 7g 4a -3

If his current play continues: 81gp 29g 27a 56pt

Looking at Franzen's production and salary since prior to and after signing current contract:

08-09: .479g/gp .831pt/gp $1.15m

09-10: .370g/gp .778pt/gp $5.50m

10-11: .368g/gp .724pt/gp $5.50m

11-12: .358g/gp .741pt/gp $5.25m

Last 22gp: .318g/gp .500pt/gp

Based on his production prior to signing

The Red Wings are paying for: 82gp 40g 29a 69pt

Unfortunately, they are getting: 25-29g 41-60pt (based on slump-season)

And what about his playoff performance? To me, Franzen's worth will always be measured 60%-75% by his playoff production and effort. But in this "what have you done for me lately" league, what has he done for the team lately?

10-11 playoffs: .250g/gp .375pt/gp

previous three playoffs: .608g/gp 1.159pt/gp

Is Franzen on a permanent downswing? To me, he is not the player the Wings are paying for and hasn't been since signing his "major contract". He is not getting any younger, has always been injury prone, and even when healthy, lacks the strength of character to sustain interest and effort throughout a season, let alone throughout the remainder of his career. Is there anything that can be done to correct his attitude? Would you be willing to trade him? If so, what would you want in return? Could he be packaged to acquire an elite scorer (Nash, etc.)?

I'm not saying we should, or could trade him with adequate return, but the future is not looking fantastic for Franzen.

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I don't know that he's on a downswing. It's so hard to tell with Franzen. I wish I could still find the quote where he basically says he gets bored in the regular season.

It's certainly not that he's awful, it's just that he could be so much better if he had the compete level of someone like Darren Helm.

Goal scorers are often streaky, but he can be amazingly invisible for a 6'3" 225 lbs guy. What frustrates me about him is not that he's not scoring. It happens. But sometimes he looks like he doesn't want to play.

Aussie_Wing and LidsFan like this

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I don't know that he's on a downswing. It's so hard to tell with Franzen. I wish I could still find the quote where he basically says he gets bored in the regular season.

It's certainly not that he's awful, it's just that he could be so much better if he had the compete level of someone like Darren Helm.

Goal scorers are often streaky, but he can be amazingly invisible for a 6'3" 225 lbs guy. What frustrates me about him is not that he's not scoring. It happens. But sometimes he looks like he doesn't want to play.

Spot on.

He shows some nice stickhandling some times and his shot can be deadly.

It is those spots where he is lined up at one of the circles and decides to pass. Or when he's moving in the slot and takes too long to shoot and it gets knocked off his stick. Makes you cringe....

The guy should be shooting at least 10 times a game.

Edited by unsaddleddonald

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10-11 playoffs: .250g/gp .375pt/gp

previous three playoffs: .608g/gp 1.159pt/gp

I can't believe people are still on his case about last year's playoffs. Remember how he slid into the boards and smashed up his ankle? And missed several games? I think that might have had something to do with it. He wouldn't be the first Red Wing to be rendered ineffective in the playoffs because of an injury, nor is he anywhere near the most talented of the players that's happened to either.

hooon and Jasper84 like this

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Franzen's facial expressions just look uninterested. I'm not in favor of trading him, and I believe he will be more productive in the playoffs. That being said, if he continues his disappearing act for the rest of the season/playoffs, maybe Kenny moves him in the offseason. I believe that he would have a hard time trying to find a team willing to take on Franzen's "monster contract" if he is in a downward spiral. I think a fair trade package would be Franzen and a 1st round pick (I know we don't have ours anymore) or a prospect to Ottawa for Spezza. That's what I think fair compensation for Franzen would be. I doubt Ottawa would part with Spezza though.

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As far as the Mule goes it seems every time he gets in a slump he need to get back to what made him a successful player and that is parking his rear end in front of the goalie and defect shots in. He has had a slump every year since he came here but this one is a season long one. He has always been a playoff freak so we will see what happens when its playoff time I guess.

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I still think it's just him floating and trying not to catch any injury and ensure he's healthy in playoffs. and I definitely refrain from any evaluation before the season ends.

and yes, I think he still has it in him, it's just a matter of catching fire and excitement. of playoff hockey

d2roit likes this

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I am not sure of how easy it would be to unload his contract and still get a decent player in return. If you offered CBJ both Franzen and Hudler for Nash would they even do it? Not saying this is a good idea just making a point btw.

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Goal scorers are often streaky, but he can be amazingly invisible for a 6'3" 225 lbs guy. What frustrates me about him is not that he's not scoring. It happens. But sometimes he looks like he doesn't want to play.

This.

I can't believe people are still on his case about last year's playoffs. Remember how he slid into the boards and smashed up his ankle? And missed several games? I think that might have had something to do with it. He wouldn't be the first Red Wing to be rendered ineffective in the playoffs because of an injury, nor is he anywhere near the most talented of the players that's happened to either.

Agree, we can hardly fault him for his injury and a single playoff with sub-par performance. My point was that if we are dismissing or tolerating his disinterest and lazy play during the regular season, when the team needs him to climb the standings and secure home ice in the post-season (something that can't be downplayed), what happens when he is unable to perform for one reason or another? As much as his worth is proven in the playoffs, his job is no different than every player: show up every night. While its unrealistic to expect every player to show up every night, few players have Franzen's potential or his contract.

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I think you all know my opinion of Franzen so I will refrain from just bad-mouthing him. I will just say I really appreciate this thread and agree with the OP to the Nth degree!

edit: on a side note, the same can be said about Zetterberg. I do believe wholeheartedly that because of his back, he is on a downswing and will continue to get worse. I predict both of these guys retire because of health issues before their contracts are up...

Edited by LeftWinger

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I think you all know my opinion of Franzen so I will refrain from just bad-mouthing him. I will just say I really appreciate this thread and agree with the OP to the Nth degree!

edit: on a side note, the same can be said about Zetterberg. I do believe wholeheartedly that because of his back, he is on a downswing and will continue to get worse. I predict both of these guys retire because of health issues before their contracts are up...

He leads the league in GWG.

Close thread.

55fan and d2roit like this

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We can't move him for another 2 years, folks. He has a NTC for the first five years of his contract, if I remember right.

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He leads the league in GWG.

Close thread.

:ok::zzz: :looney:

and Dan Cleary led the Wings last year with 8, that sure is the mark of NHL Elite-ness! Besides Vrbata is now leading 10 as well, so his inconstant play is allowing players to catch him in all statistics...soon Hudler will pass him on the goal-scoring. For the "most clutch player in the NHL" who has a "Serious Contract" 47 points in 62 games is horrendous!

We can't move him for another 2 years, folks. He has a NTC for the first five years of his contract, if I remember right.

according to Capgeek.com, he has no such thing...

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Honestly I am sick and tired of the excuses with Mule. I am sick and tired of the lack of play from this guy and his china-doll performances in the last couple of years. This guy is making nearly 4 million a year with this team and plays like he is making the league minimum. I really hope Kenny can move this guy as soon as possible. I have had enough of this joke of a player. His intentional offside yesterday caused a goal, he took his time getting onside the other night against Vancouver and what do ya know, he was flat on his back when the Sedin scored with 15 seconds left. I could go on and on with his lackluster performances, but I feel that I do not have to preach to the choir.

Yes, by far this guy has been the most disappointing player in the last couple of seasons. (not including 2009-2010.) Time for a change Mule. Step up or move on. We've got guys in GR that are rotting away because we have your lackluster ass here not wanting to play because its the regular season or whatever your excuse is now. :ranting:

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He leads the league in GWG.

Close thread.

GWG proves clutch, but like anything, should be taken with a grain of salt. GTG (game tying goals) when behind are just as clutch if not more in today's NHL, but not tracked well. In most cases, GWG happen not breaking a tie, but as a technicality (ie, 4-1 game means 2nd goal is GWG, if they score one more to make it 4-2, now the 3rd goal is the GWG). Not to completely diminish the feat, because Franzen is clutch when he is on his game, but how many games are lost when a player of his responsibility disappears for the stretches which he does?

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I guess I am in the minority here so I'm sure the negs will follow... but honestly I don't think he is nearly as bad as folks are making out. Sure I would like a few more goals and some more consistency, but he gets bashed around here as though he is a 4th line scrub.

He is leading the team in goals for the second straight year. Who makes up for those goals if he is gone? To me his cap hit is extremely reasonable for providing the goals he does, especially if you consider the current market and what players are going for nowadays.

A large part of the Wings success at home this season has been due to Franzen. Yes, it would be awesome if he performed better on the road, but you could say that about the entire team right now.

People always bring up Hossa>Mule, but honestly Hossa's contract is much worse than Franzen's, and he has had similar issues with health, consistency and is not a big playoff producer. Yes, Franzen plays on Datsyuk's line (not sure why that is a fault against him...), but he has also seen success with other linemates, and still led the team in goals last season despite Datsyuk missing significant time.

As someone else mentioned, last year's playoff performance he was badly banged up the entire series, but the previous year he put up 18 points in 12 games against the same two teams.

I think Mule is an easy person to point the finger at when everything isn't going perfectly, but really he is doing what he always has done. Even back in his breakout season, he was very streaky with the majority of his points coming in Feb and March, that's just the way it is with him in the regular season, and people seem to expect him to play more like a 7 million dollar player.

I guess I just don't see how being on pace for 30 goals is such an awful thing, especially when nobody else on the team will even come close to that. He is not a 50 goal scorer, nor should he be expected to be, and nor does he get paid like one.

I don't disagree with everything in the OP, but this is the way I see it. :cool: This playoffs will be an important test for him to see where his heart is, especially if he remains healthy and has no excuse.

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Honestly I am sick and tired of the excuses with Mule. I am sick and tired of the lack of play from this guy and his china-doll performances in the last couple of years. This guy is making nearly 4 million a year with this team and plays like he is making the league minimum. I really hope Kenny can move this guy as soon as possible. I have had enough of this joke of a player. His intentional offside yesterday caused a goal, he took his time getting onside the other night against Vancouver and what do ya know, he was flat on his back when the Sedin scored with 15 seconds left. I could go on and on with his lackluster performances, but I feel that I do not have to preach to the choir.

Yes, by far this guy has been the most disappointing player in the last couple of seasons. (not including 2009-2010.) Time for a change Mule. Step up or move on. We've got guys in GR that are rotting away because we have your lackluster ass here not wanting to play because its the regular season or whatever your excuse is now. :ranting:

Yea it's called trying to block a shot. You kinda have to lay down to do that effectively...

I am pretty sick of reading displeasure over Franzen. He obviously isn't playing up to his potential but no team is perfect and every team has under performing players. Would you rather him be hurt? Because I don't think he is going anywhere this season at least. I'm just glad he is healthy and hopefully will be for the playoffs because at the very least he commands attention from the other team on the ice and can free up space. This years current team is better with him versus without him and having someone from GR up.

miller76 and MannyMaltby3418 like this

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I can't believe people are still on his case about last year's playoffs. Remember how he slid into the boards and smashed up his ankle? And missed several games? I think that might have had something to do with it. He wouldn't be the first Red Wing to be rendered ineffective in the playoffs because of an injury, nor is he anywhere near the most talented of the players that's happened to either.

Agree. That moron Doan put him face first into the boards.

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As I said in the GDT arlier, Franzen is in his early 30's, meaning his work ethic is unlikely to improve at this stage in his career. His work ethic was great early on in Detroit, when he played on the 4th line and then had to prove himself on the top two lines. Since then, he has indeed been a floater.

The reason people are upset about him, is that they see guys like Helm or Miller busting their ass off on every shift and want Franzen to do the same. They figure that Franzen + Helm's work ethic = 50 goal scorer every season. It's not entirely a bad argument.

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Goal scorers are often streaky, but he can be amazingly invisible for a 6'3" 225 lbs guy. What frustrates me about him is not that he's not scoring. It happens. But sometimes he looks like he doesn't want to play.

Goals scorers can be streaky if they do other things than score goals. Franzen doesn't. I've said it a million times, if Franzen isn't scoring goals, he isn't doing anything. That's his problem.

GoWings1905, Nev, LidsFan and 1 other like this

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Goals scorers can be streaky if they do other things than score goals. Franzen doesn't. I've said it a million times, if Franzen isn't scoring goals, he isn't doing anything. That's his problem.

Agreed I think that's the biggest reason why I never liked him. I just think he should be doing more.

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