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InKennyWeTrust

The Grass Is Always Greener - Johan Franzen

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All professionals should be busting their ass every second of every shift. That doesn't happen though. Especially in the dog days of the regular season.

IMHO, people getting on Franzen for floating could be saying that Z was floating as well in the first part of the regular season.

Hrm, you definitely don't watch many Wings games do you?

Nope just every single game over the last 7 years.

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To be a power forward you cannot be afraid the crease and actually check someone. Franzen avoids going within 10 feet of the net most of the game.

Franzen is an enigma to me. I don't understand how we draft big guys like Franzen and Erikson and they don't know how to use their bodies. I want to like Franzen but he makes it increasinly difficult every year. Its like he's hudler stuck in a giants body. He pretty much need to take this summer to find his balls and then be sat down by Babcock who should slap him in the face and tell him he's in a mans league and learn the term "drive to the net". I have no clue why Franzen plays the way he does. Is he scared? Is he just lazy? Only he knows why he does the stuff he does but its like he's allergic to going to the net someone has to do it and it mind as well be him because no one else will and no one else has a big body like that to push his way in. The few times that he does go to the net throughout the season he creates outstanding scoring changes even if he doesn't score on them. I get so excited when he does it, but then you hardly see it happen especially when it matter in th playoffs.

I really believe the problem is with us, not with Franzen.

For some reason when he signed his new deal fans developed unrealistic expectations for him and they don't match-up with what he's capable of or what the team actually expects of him. Franzen is not going to be a 50 goal scorer, he's a consistent 25-30 goal guy who will put up around 50-60 pts.

The idea that he's lazy is a fan thing, the players call him "Mule" for a reason. Even Babcock who got annoyed with his play near the end of this year seems to speak only positively about him.

Other than guys on entry level contracts it would be near impossible to find a player who produces more for the amount he gets paid.

Franzen is not overpaid for his production. The team itself was streaky it wasn't just Franzen, and I don't think calling him lazy is really fair. Just cause he doesn't dominate shift in and shift out like Datsyuk used to doesn't mean he's lazy... Unrealistic expectations

I honestly don't think people like Franzen and Ericsson are there to dominate. Yeah they don't use their size that much but seriously how often can you say they've been hit hard? If any of us played professional hockey I'd say 90% of us would probably not try to hit a guy like Chara (bit of an extreme example) as much as we would a guy like St. Louis (again extreme example) because 1) it wouldn't have that great an effect and 2) there would be more of a chance at us injuring/hurting ourselves by hitting someone that much bigger. If bigger players on the Wings don't generally hit that much or use their size as effectively as people would expect then maybe it's because they're told not to. Imagine if what I've outlined is actually true, after all it's just a theory I thought of when reading through the comments, and people didn't actively try to hit a big guy like Franzen as much, the space that he'd be left would be a lot greater than if he was hounded all the time. Perhaps he doesn't get involved in all the dirty areas because Babs knows just how good a shot he's got on him when he's got the space. If that's the case, make sure he had all the space available to him, even if it did mean making him look as though he's just skating around and avoiding people most nights. I don't think he's particularly lazy but maybe he's just trying to overthink things too much with what he's been told to do. After all this is a professional sports team, and they all play a game that their coach tells them to play. Yes some people like Dats have the personal creativity to pull off amazing moves and fool defenders but he's still playing the game that Babs tells him to. Perhaps when Franzen is considered "streaky" he's just relaxing a bit more and playing more naturally, then Babs asks him to remember the gameplan and his point productions drop.

Obviously I can't claim to know just what's going on here, like the OP I'm just setting forth a possible scenario that I happened to think about whilst reading through. If an overall gameplan dictates that players are incouraged to play smarter hockey rather than physical or aggressive hockey (which traditionally - 20 years or so - has been the case somewhat) then players like Franzen are always going to get stick from the fans saying their lazy and they don't use their size. Nick could have probably hit a few years off some guys careers if he had tried, but he didn't because making the smart play was more important and more effective most of the time. Even Kronwall's hits, although fairly frequent, have been pretty sure things - guy skating out of his own zone along the boards, bam - I don't think I've ever seen him try something similar in his own zone because one move by the puck carrier and he's way out of position.

In conclusion (I understand I've waffled on an AWFUL lot :P ) I think Franzen may just be the victim of a team-wide system rather than his own ego or desires. In other words I guess I'm outlining an argument to suggest that Franzen is actually giving a lot MORE to this team than is outwardly visible. Not that I'm actually arguing said argument :)

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So if those saying that Franzen's contract is not that bad then he should be easy to unload right? Franzen is lazy. He is not streaky. But hey if he is so great and his contract is so good I say dump his ass and get someone that cares. For the same money Doan is available.

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IMHO, Franzen "floats" a lot less than people here say who "watch the games". He is not paid for speed. He is paid to be a power forward.

Floating has nothing to do with speed. You can work your ass off and still be slow. It has to do with the fact that you never see Franzen as Mickey would say "picking them up and putting them down". He just coasts around. Power forwards go hard to the net. You cant be a power forward and just glide to the net. Franzen has been gliding the last 3 years.

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IMHO, Franzen "floats" a lot less than people here say who "watch the games". He is not paid for speed. He is paid to be a power forward.

There's a lot of people that watch games that feel Franzen floats. I bet a large majority of Red Wings fans would classify Franzen as lazy. This isn't some random concept perpetuated by a few fans.

As for being a power forward, Franzen isn't really doing that either. Hudler went to the net more in the playoff series than Franzen did. For a dude with as much size as Franzen has, he rarely utilizes it. He isn't physical, nor willing to play in the tough areas of the ice most of the time. I will give him credit that he has a great wrist shot and can score goals effectively in that manner. Though in no way would I call Franzen a true power forward.

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I think nothing will help Franzen more than acquiring an elite-level scorer to play on the first line. Take the pressure off of him to be "the guy" and he should do much better.

And if that doesnt help, trade his lazy ass.

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What frustrated me about Franzen was he could never hold on to the puck or make the right play offensively... He goes to the net harder than most of our players and I didn't notice any floating really offensively, although his defense left a lot to be desired. But this is just one season

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Im not a franzen lover however I take him for what he is. He's never gonna be a hard working power forward like gezlaf and the like. The guy has a nice shot good stride and a nose for the net. I'm not a fan of his softness and wouldn't oppose a trade. For me franzen is what he hs and will never be what he's not.Sure there re harder working players and better options, but it looks like we're stuck with him. His contract is also bad

Edited by cnot19
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Nope just every single game over the last 7 years.

Sure you aren't just sleeping through them?

Just based on a lot of the opinions here, I am glad only the opinions of the management of the Wings matter. 4 cups in 15 years means a lot to me and I trust in their assessment. Franzen, IMHO, is a great signing for this team. People may not like him, like Hudler, but they produce. I like how some of the fans here want to dump Hudler and Franzen, which is over 50 goals of production, and with no real plan to replace those goals. This team is better off with Franzen than without him thats for sure. Especially at the bargain price they are paying for him.

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Franzen is an enigma to me. I don't understand how we draft big guys like Franzen and Erikson and they don't know how to use their bodies. I want to like Franzen but he makes it increasinly difficult every year. Its like he's hudler stuck in a giants body. He pretty much need to take this summer to find his balls and then be sat down by Babcock who should slap him in the face and tell him he's in a mans league and learn the term "drive to the net". I have no clue why Franzen plays the way he does. Is he scared? Is he just lazy? Only he knows why he does the stuff he does but its like he's allergic to going to the net someone has to do it and it mind as well be him because no one else will and no one else has a big body like that to push his way in. The few times that he does go to the net throughout the season he creates outstanding scoring changes even if he doesn't score on them. I get so excited when he does it, but then you hardly see it happen especially when it matter in th playoffs.

You're right, Holland should draft better players with those 7th round picks. Holland should have traded the 4th and 7th round pick to Edmonton for their 1st overall... then maybe Holland could have landed those big bodied players that play physical :/

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Honestly, I like Franzen but he isn't amazing. The same could be said of Zetterberg, they both score minimaly and have WAY to big of contracts. Still if I could I wouldn't get rid of Zetterberg. I might consider Franzen though.

what the f***....

Hell yeah you wouldn't get rid of Zetterberg. I don't care how big that contract is. Guy took us on his back right to the 08 cup.

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How many of you give 100% effort at your job 100% of the time? How many of you have played a sport, tried your damndest and things just didn't go as well as you wanted? It's a sport. It's an exhausting sport. Not all your shots will go in. Not everything always works. And sometimes you get lucky.

Dats busts his ass every night

Hank busts his ass every night

Flip busts his ass every night

Helm busts his ass every second of every shift of every night.

They might not always score, they might not always be the best player, they might not always win - but they will always give their all. They might be playing injured, lacking confidence, not getting the bounces - but they will still try.

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Honestly, I like Franzen but he isn't amazing. The same could be said of Zetterberg, they both score minimaly and have WAY to big of contracts. Still if I could I wouldn't get rid of Zetterberg. I might consider Franzen though.

Zetterberg was, as per usual, our best player in the playoffs. He is also our team's future captain, so I don't think he is overpayed at all.

Franzén on the other hand..

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Im not a franzen lover however I take him for what he is. He's never gonna be a hard working power forward like gezlaf and the like.

He very well could be. He broke into the league because of his hard work. Since his lifetime contract he hasnt felt the need to work that hard anymore.

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Dats busts his ass every night

Hank busts his ass every night

Flip busts his ass every night

Helm busts his ass every second of every shift of every night.

They might not always score, they might not always be the best player, they might not always win - but they will always give their all. They might be playing injured, lacking confidence, not getting the bounces - but they will still try.

Throw Dan Cleary in there as well. Dude plays on busted knees but seemingly doesn't want to cause a fuss so keeps playing through the pain every night and doesn't stop.

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I don't have a problem with his contract as much. I think what annoys people is that we've all seen how much potential he has and he doesn't always fulfill it. I mean if I had the dude's size, I'd be running around like a wrecking ball out there. Instead we haven't seen much growth and his production has remained streaky.

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what the f***....

Hell yeah you wouldn't get rid of Zetterberg. I don't care how big that contract is. Guy took us on his back right to the 08 cup.

...and since then? Yeah. But still Franzen hasn't done anything and that is who this thread is about.

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IMHO, Franzen "floats" a lot less than people here say who "watch the games". He is not paid for speed. He is paid to be a power forward.

If he's paid to be a power forward, that only bolsters the argument that he's not working hard enough.

Lucic is a power forward. Simmonds is developing into a power forward. Franzen is big and can score, but he's not nearly physical enough to be called a power forward.

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tl;dr below the stat-headedness.

The two biggest knocks on Johan Franzen are his streakiness and perceived laziness. Franzen also currently has the fourth highest salary on the team. While the Red Wings are well below the cap floor - spending money isn't a problem - what, exactly is Franzen's value to the team and what should be done with him?

Franzen lead the team with 29 goals, beating fellow whipping-boy Jiri Hudler by 4. His 56 points were good enough for fourth on the team. Franzen essentially paced himself to score a goal once every third game and had .683 ppg. Using this, it is possible to gauge how streaky Johan really is.

I am going to break Franzen's season into 2 week segments, examining goals, points, and pace for both,

Oct 7-Oct 21

GP G A P GPG PPG

5 4 3 7 65.6 114.8

Oct 22-Nov 6

GP G A P GPG PPG

7 1 2 3 34.1 68.3 All of Franzen's points this week came from one game on November 5th, the last of the week.

Nov 7-Nov 21

GP G A P GPG PPG

7 5 5 10 43.1 86.2

Nov 22-Dec 6

GP G A P GPG PPG

7 3 3 6 40.9 81.9

Dec 7-Dec 21

GP G A P GPG PPG

7 1 3 4 34.7 74.4

Dec 22-Jan 5

GP G A P GPG PPG

6 2 1 3 33.6 69.4

Jan 6-Jan 20

GP G A P GPG PPG

8 2 5 7 31.3 69.6

Jan 21-Feb 4

GP G A P GPG PPG

6 1 1 2 29.3 65.0

Feb 5-Feb 19

GP G A P GPG PPG

7 4 1 5 32.4 66.3

Feb 20-Mar 5

GP G A P GPG PPG

6 1 2 3 29.9 62.1

Mar 6-Mar 20

GP G A P GPG PPG

5 2 1 3 29.9 61.2 This is the beginning of the 5 games that Mule missed.

Mar 21-Apr 3

GP G A P GPG PPG

3 0 0 0 28.8 58.7

Apr 4-Apr 7

GP G A P GPG PPG

3 3 0 3 30.8 59.6

So is Franzen statistically streaky? Oh yes. If you expect one goal every third game, you would expect to see about 2 goals every two weeks, give or take. Franzen missed that mark (counting 1-3 goals per week) more than 1/3 of the time. If you count scoring one goal in two weeks as poor, as I would, that count rises to more than 1/2 the time.

Also telling is the changing rate at which Franzen scored. There was no way Mule would continue the pace he set over the first five games, but discounting that, Franzen's PPG pace varied by around 2.7 per two weeks. That indicates a good deal of instability.

tl;dr: Mule is wildly inconsistent. He's only costing about $4M in cap space, but I don't know if I'm comfortable with Franzen being part of the solution moving forward.

Thoughts on Johan?

You can do that for just about anybody and find them inconsistent.

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You can do that for just about anybody and find them inconsistent.

Yeah but other players provide a two way game.

Filpulla goes into a scoring slump? You can at least throw him out their on the PK and he can be reliable defensively. Same with Cleary.

Not even going to bring up Zetter/Dats

Fact is when Franzen isn't producing he's not providing anything for this team, he is a terrible forecheck/backchecker, he doesn't hit(Drew Miller has more), he just isn't consistent winning battles. Now sure this is all my opinion on watching games, but it's what I see.

Babcock sums it up well,

The roller-coaster ride that has been the production end of Johan Franzen’s game is beginning to grate on Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who believes it’s time that the veteran right-winger became a more consistent presence on the scoresheet.

“He’s like this,” Babcock said of Franzen, who has recorded 6-7-13 totals in his last eight games. “When he feels it, it goes in. To me, he should be one of the best power forwards in the league because of his hands, because of his skating, and he knows how to play. The challenge for him every night is to skate and be physical. If he skates and is physical, the rest looks after itself.

“He’s got one of the best shots in the league, and can wire it like nobody. Mule’s one of those guys that has to decide if he’s going to be a great player in the league, or a good player in the league for a long, long time. If he wants to be a great player, then you have to call on yourself every single night. The great players dig in every night.”

People that complain about Franzen's consistency are not crazy.

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Need a break down to how bad Zetterberg was to start the season. He was god-awful bad. Also Lidstrom was pretty bad at the end of the season/playoffs.

If Franzen was consistent like very few NHL players are (like Crosby), would Franzen's cap hit be under $4 million? I don't think so.

In essence, Franzen is a bargain right now and will be extremely difficult to replace his offense for under $4 million per year. I would only consider trading Franzen if it's for a younger, tougher, more proven offensive power forward (NOT CHRIS STEWART OR PENNER TYPE GUY)

Lidstrom had a reason for his level of play, its called he took a puck off the inside of the foot...

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Why do I keep hearing the terms 'Franzen' and 'Not Producing' used in the same sentence? I'm pretty sure he led the team in GOALS with 29. He's doing what he is paid to do. This thread sure does have an appopriate title. Be thankful we're getting what we're getting out of him for what we're putting in him. The grass always is greener on the other side eh?

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Why do I keep hearing the terms 'Franzen' and 'Not Producing' used in the same sentence? I'm pretty sure he led the team in GOALS with 29. He's doing what he is paid to do. This thread sure does have an appopriate title. Be thankful we're getting what we're getting out of him for what we're putting in him. The grass always is greener on the other side eh?

Most of us are waiting for him to play hard 100% of the time.

He could be so much better than what he is, and it's not a skill issue, it's a mental issue and it's something that is very frusterating for fans.

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It does seem that the 3rd grader next door's art project that is made out of Popsicle sticks and elmers glue is sturdier than Johan.

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