I still don't get this notion some people have that the organization would benefit from buying out one of its best scorers. Exactly who would replace him?
First - for how many more seasons is Franzen going to be a 25 goal scorer? He's 33 right now. He's got another SEVEN seasons with a $4M cap hit. Once his production starts declining, since he contributes nothing else, how much longer does $4M stay good value for money?
Second - The early retirement penalties that have been brought in are a biatch. No-one expected the likes of Franzen to see out their contracts, now if he retires early, its the Wings who get punished while he sits on his mountains of cash.
Third - I hate the message that Franzen sends to our youngsters. Have a couple of half-decent seasons, sign a mega-bucks lifetime contract and coast your way into retirement
Fourth - As I already mentioned, we've had the best years of Franzen's contract - the years of artificially low cap hit with decent production. The contract is only going to get worse from here on out. If we buy him out after next season, he'll be 34 and we "only" have to pay him $12M for the remainder of his contract.
Fifth - We have lost MUCH worse players than Franzen over the years. Many and more of them, and we've always been OK. We'll survive without Franzen too.
"If I can be totally honest, it's not a lot of guys you get impressed by. Actually, it's no one else but him. From the bench, to see what move he makes -- you're like, 'I wish I could do that.' Sometimes you sit on the bench and just think, 'wow,' and you look over to the other bench and they sit there and shake their heads, too. He has great, great skills. I'm probably not going to play with another player who has the kind of skills he has." Mikael Samuelsson on Pavel Datsyuk