I always feel bipolar when it comes to Franzen. One minute I want to defend him, and the next, I want to punch that stupid ass grin off his face because he's so damn frustrating to watch. You see the stats and think damn, he's still good. Look at the points. But then you watch the games and you see him get knocked down and then he looks around waiting for the call and then ever so slowly gets to one knee and then stops and then finally gets up and moseys on over to the bench while the play is going on in the other end. Then you see him score 7 goals in 10 games or whatever and you think hot damn, the old Franzen is back! Then he's hardly noticeable for the next 20 games and the Wings are losing games and not scoring worth a damn and there he is on tv like wuh?? Who me???? I'm not a goal scorer. I'm a defensive specialist! STFU. Did you tell Ken Holland you were just a defensive specialist when you signed the long term deal? Then it's, well, his cap hit is a bargain for the points he scores, right?
On the health front, knowing what the medical community knows now about concussions and you have a guy who's already said he's had life altering symptoms trying to come back with a wife and kids, and you think what a selfish moron for putting himself at risk like that. Thank you for 2008, go back to Sweden and have a nice life. Then the next minute you think wow, he must really be dedicated to try and come back from this. But will a guy at his advanced age and history of multiple concussions really contribute much? Do we want him taking up a roster spot? But what if can come back and chip in 20 goals? Or would it just be better having that cap space if he goes on LTIR really be better for all involved?
I guess it all comes down to expectations and potential. They guy has all the physical gifts. Year after year, you hear the Wings need a big tough winger who can score. That could and should be Franzen, but it isn't. You wonder if its his health. Then he and the team say no. Next thing you know, Franzen is out for multiple games with some "mystery" ailment.
That's definitely the point YOU are making. But several other people here have insinuated that the amount of punching is directly proportionate to the intensity or bitterness of the rivalry and lamented the future of rivalries because fighting is down. Which is crap. There are tons of REALLY intense rivalries that exist because of the game, and not because of the penalties.
Just like a-holes - everyone has an opinion.
And for the record - as a fan - it's been years since I 'felt' the intensity of past rivalries...IMHO - there isn't a rivalry today that can match-up to what we saw 15 plus years ago.
Yes - the fighting - the cheapshots - the hard nosed play are all key, and it lends a helping hand in hating a rival.