Red Wings: Johan Franzen contract will come off the books for 2020-21

The Detroit Red Wings have cap space opening up as Johan Franzen’s contract comes off the books for the 2020-21 season.

As the National Hockey League (NHL) announces that the league will have a flat salary cap, the Detroit Red Wings do not have to fret. On top of the already heft amount of cap space they have, another yearly sliver will come off the books when Johan Franzen‘s contract is gone for 2020-21.

The Red Wings will see the $3,954,545 that was usually paid to Franzen, come off the books for the 2020-21 season. This will free up even more cap space for the 2020-21 season and allow General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman even more capital to work with.

The last season where Franzen suited up for a regular-season game for the Red Wings was the 2015-16 season, and he only suited up for two games, still managing to register an assist in the process.

Concussions ruined Franzen’s career and led him to have off-ice issues that have made things difficult, leaving Franzen in a “very dark place” as he referred to it in interviews.

It was a tough decision for Franzen to step away from the game of hockey, but ultimately concussions lead to some severe consequences.

Before things went south for Franzen, he had signed an 11-year, $43.5 million contract with the Red Wings in 2009.

Ultimately, the organization could have signed either Franzen or recently inducted Hall of Famer Marian Hossa to a long term deal, but they opted to sign “The Mule.”

The Red Wings got six, sort of seven, solid seasons out of Franzen on his 11-year deal before things started to turn south for “The Mule” and left him off the ice soon after. After he departed the organization, he would get an Injury Relief Package that would give him his remaining salary.

The contract finally runs out after the 2019-20 season, making Franzen officially off the books for the Red Wings, which frees up just about $4 million. This should be rolled into either one of two things,1) resigning restricted free agents at low costs, or 2) signing a battery mate goaltender.

Besides Franzen, the Red Wings will also see another one of the Injury Relief Packages come off the books for the 2020-21 season. The Red Wings will see Kyle Brodziak’s $1.15 million contract come off the books just a few months after he was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers.

Beyond the 2020-21 season with the flat salary cap, the organization will get another $6.083 million relief in cap space the following season. Former Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will see his Injury Relief Package come to an end.

The Detroit Red Wings have an of cap space, plenty of unrestricted free agents, and a pressing goalie need, hopefully, the almost $4 million cap relief for the 2020-21 season.