And that was not smart!
Given a choice between a Hossa (who's been a known value for a long time) and a Franzen (flashes of brilliance but essentially an unknown value at the time of his re-upping), you go with the former. (IMHO)
I assume it was pride more than anything else. As in, Look, everyone! Ken found a bona fide power-forward! And he did it all by himself! And that's how we do it in Detroit! (We drafted Shanahan, Maltby, Draper, Bertuzzi, Larionov, Hull, Vernon, Hasek, Chelios, Murphy, Stuart, Rafalski, Fetisov, et al.) Always have, always will!
I think you're a little too hard on Kenny here. Franzen looked like a beast to everyone. He'd been dominant pretty consistently for almost 2 years and you legitimately could have made an argument that at times he was a top 5 forward in the league (in the playoffs in particular). He doubled Hossa's goals that year in the playoffs. At the time, Franzen was also solid defensively (not that he's especially bad defensively now, but at the time he'd actually been used in a defensive role because of his reliability). And yes, there is the factor that he'd been with the Wings for a long time/had been drafted by them.
The "known value" argument that you make, in my opinion, applies better to Franzen. He'd been here for a long time and the management and coaching staff here felt that they knew him better. I don't think that at the time anybody forsaw this.
Edit: As a pretty surprising side-note, projecting to an 82 game season, Franzen is actually on pace for 58 points...only one off his career high*. I know projections like that don't necessarily mean too much, but it still seems odd because to me it's felt like he's played extremely poorly.
*Which, admittedly, was achieved in only 71 games.
Edited by Zetts, 13 April 2013 - 02:03 AM.