In April of 2009, the Detroit Red Wings signed forward Johan Franzen to an eleven-year deal worth $43.5 million, which is still hitting the books in 2019-20.
Now, when the Detroit Red Wings signed Johan Franzen back in 2009, no one would have expected him to be out of hockey by the 2015-16 season. However, he would fall apart from his scoring, and injuries turned his contract into a nightmare as the team is still paying him.
In the 2019-20 season, with Johan Franzen removed from the game since the 2015-16 season, Franzen still collected $3.954 million from the Red Wings. Now, this is absolutely no slight to the severity of his concussion issues and the battles that Franzen has faced.
Franzen has had plenty of battles off the ice since retiring, but his scoring depleted after solid seasons with the Red Wings. For those who do not remember, the team could have signed Marian Hossa and let Franzen walk or let Hossa walks and bring in Franzen; they opted for Franzen.
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Looking back at the two, Hossa had more points than Franzen in every season from 2008-09 on besides 2012-13, where both would put up thirty-one points.
Hossa’s career would last through the 2016-17 season before a battle with a rash from hockey equipment would knock him out of hockey.
The debate over which one does not matter, the issue is, the Detroit Red Wings are still paying Franzen even though he has not taken the ice in three seasons.
On top of that Franzen’s production was far less than the player they could have had instead of signing Franzen to the eleven-year contract. Looking at the output they could have had and the fact that it is STILL on the books years after Franzen’s career ended is the issue.
Franzen had his career shortened, but again, when comparing him to the player the Red Wings opted not to sign, the one they let go was better than Franzen year after year. Now, Hossa got a twelve-year, $63.3 million contract, meaning he took home more every year then Franzen, it seems like bringing Hossa in was still the better move in terms of longevity and output.
That being said, Franzen’s time with the Detroit Red Wings was over quicker than anticipated, and his long term contract given to him by Holland did not work out.