Hockey World Blog

Franzen out with torn ACL

Franzen_headshot_08-09(1)The latest loss for the Detroit Red Wings didn’t come on the scoreboard.

Johan Franzen will be out of the lineup for a minimum of four months after suffering a torn ACL during last night’s game with the Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit won the contest 3-2 with Franzen scoring the eventual game-winning goal.

General Manager Ken Holland said he didn’t know when or how the big forward injured his knee, just that he said it was bothering him after the game.

“He woke up with his knee swollen and full of fluid. We sent him for an MRI. Obviously surprising,” said Holland. The Red Wings recalled forward Justin Abdelkader to fill the empty roster spot for this Saturday’s contest against the Washington Capitals.

Franzen has suffered knee injuries in each of his last three seasons with Detroit, all of them happening during a game with the Chicago Blackhawks.

This is a big loss to the Red Wings,  a team already trying to find ways to replace the goals lost by departed free agents Marion Hossa, Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson. Franzen, who started off playing on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk, had 61 goals with Detroit in his past two seasons combined. I would expect Babcock to eventually counter by shifting Zetterberg onto the top line with Datsyuk to help generate more offense. Datsyuk and Zetterberg are dynamite when they play together and I’m sure that Babcock won’t be able to resist temptation for too long.

Babcock may also consider moving free agent acquisition Todd Bertuzzi onto the top line with Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom. Bertuzzi, once one of the league’s premiere power forwards, would benefit heavily from ample time on a line with Datsyuk. Rookie Ville Leino will probably also benefit from the situation. Leino has shown great skill and a wonderful hockey sense during his time with Detroit. Whatever Babcock decides to do with Zetterberg and Datsyuk, expect Leino to get more playing time and perhaps a promotion to the second line.

8 Comments

  1. EB

    October 9, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    This is sad news for the Wings that is for certain.

    After seeing them play 6 rows form the ice in pre-season, and yes it is only pre-season, I hope that Brad May gets more ice time. Todd Bertuzzi is strong in the corners, but I felt May has better hands which the Wings need right now.

    I will be in attendance this Saturday as they play the Capitals. I’ll keep a close eye on the two, although suites do have their drawback, and see what Babcock does in mixing up the lines.

  2. Matt

    October 9, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    I’d like to see Ville fill the void by putting up some big numbers these next four months. I know he’s capable of it.

  3. EB

    October 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    The big lineup last night was Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Bertuzzi.

    Filppula is going to be a work horse. He looked good last night.

    One thing also to notice is that Williams was on the point for the power play.

  4. Tony A.

    October 14, 2009 at 11:34 am

    EB- I agree that Bertuzzi is strong in the corners. I worry
    about his ability to be healthy (and effective) in April
    and May.

    As for the drawbacks of suites- don’t complain!!

  5. Tony A.

    October 14, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Anybody but me worried that Franzen’s loss might be the
    harbinger of a mediocre season?

    I would not have asked if the Wings didn’t get their butts
    kicked so thoroughly last night.

    Not a good loss……

  6. Matt

    October 15, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I know people continue to talk about how many goals they’ve lost, and they certainly didn’t score much against Buffalo, but the defense has looked highly suspect to me. It’s a long season, but I’m not very happy with the start they’ve had.

  7. Tony A.

    October 15, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Me either!!

  8. EB

    October 17, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Surgery went well I read.

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