Johan Franzén

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Johan Franzén
JohanFranzen2013.png
Born (1979-12-23) December 23, 1979 (age 34)
Vetlanda, Sweden
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Left or right wing
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Detroit Red Wings
Linköpings HC (SEL)
National team  Sweden
NHL Draft 97th overall, 2004
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 1999–present

Johan Franzén (/ˈj.hɑːn frɑːnˈzɛn/ YOW-hahn frahn-ZEN; born December 23, 1979) is a Swedish professional ice hockey winger currently playing for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is often referred to by Red Wings fans as Mule, a nickname given by Steve Yzerman.

Playing career[edit]

Franzén started playing ice hockey in Boro/Vetlanda HC, Landsbro near Vetlanda in Sweden. He was suspended for a full year after knocking down a referee, but was then moved to play with the Tranås AIF in the Swedish Allsvenskan in 1999. After one season with the club, he moved to Linköping where he stayed for five seasons, helping the club win the promotion for play in the Swedish elite league Elitserien in 2001. Recommended by European scout Håkan Andersson,[1] Franzén was drafted by the Red Wings in 2004. For the 2005–06 NHL season, Franzén played in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, totaling 80 games for 16 points (12 goals, four assists) in his rookie season.[2] His workmanlike service was lauded by former teammate and captain Steve Yzerman, who gave Johan the nickname "The Mule", because "he carries the load".

In August 2006, Franzén re-signed with the Detroit Red Wings to a three-year contract worth $2.825 million.[3][4] On April 21, 2007, during a playoff game versus the Calgary Flames, backup goaltender Jamie McLennan slashed Franzén twice in the leg. McLennan was due to be assessed a minor penalty. However, after play was stopped, McLennan violently slashed Franzén in the stomach, resulting in a game misconduct for McLennan.[5] In the following game (Game 6), Franzén scored the winning goal in double-overtime to advance the Red Wings past the Flames.

On March 30, 2008, Franzén scored his sixth game-winning goal for the month of March, against the Nashville Predators. This goal broke the Red Wings team record for most game-winning goals in one month (5) set by Gordie Howe in February 1952, and duplicated in January 1956. (Howe's feat was matched by Franzén's teammate Henrik Zetterberg in January 2007.) Coincidentally, Franzén broke Howe's record while Howe was attending the game and celebrating his 80th birthday.[6]

Franzén scored his first career hat trick against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That was the Wings' first playoff hat trick since Darren McCarty did it six years prior (May 18, 2002) — also against the Avalanche — in 2002. During Game 4, on May 1, 2008, Franzén had another hat trick, scoring his ninth goal of the series, breaking the Detroit Red Wings franchise record for most goals in a playoff series: Gordie Howe had scored eight goals in a seven-game series in 1949.[7]

Franzén currently holds the franchise record (tied with Henrik Zetterberg) for most goals in a playoff year with 13, a record previously held at 10 by Petr Klima, Sergei Fedorov and Brett Hull.[8] Zetterberg tied his mark of 13 goals after scoring the Cup winning goal in Game 6 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals.

Franzén sets up in front of Fleury in Game 5 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals.

On May 24, 2009, in a game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks, Franzén was involved in a minor scrum behind the net after the whistle. Franzén was exchanging words with Patrick Kane when Kane began chewing on his mouth guard. Franzén reached down and ripped the mouth guard out of Kane's mouth and threw it down to the ice.[9][10]

On April 11, 2009, Franzén signed a contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings for 11 years. The contract runs through the 2019–2020 season, and is worth $43.5 million. The contract has an annual cap hit of $3,954,545, although it is front loaded. The contract by year pays as follows: 2009-10, $5.5 million, 2010–11, $5 million, 2011–13, $5.25 million, 2013–16, $5 million, 2016–17, $3.5 million, 2017–18, $2 million, and finally in 2018-20, $1 million. The length shows the commitment and confidence the Red Wings have in Franzen.[11][12]

On October 8, 2009, Franzén suffered a torn ACL, causing him to miss 55 games before he was able to return to Detroit's lineup against the St. Louis Blues and record an assist. Following Detroit's next game he recorded his first goal since coming back.

On May 6, 2010, Franzen scored three goals in a span of 3:26 (two seconds shy of the NHL record for fastest playoff hat trick[13]) in the first period of a round two playoff game against the San Jose Sharks. He had been initially credited with another goal, scored moments before the first of his three that he did score, which would have given him the record for fastest hat trick when he scored what was actually his second of the game. He did, later on in the game, score a fourth goal, however.

On February 2, 2011, Franzén became only the second player in fourteen years, joining Marián Gáborík, to score five goals in one game. He tallied two even strength goals, two power play goals, and added an empty net goal in a 7–5 victory over the Ottawa Senators.[14] He joins Sergei Fedorov and Syd Howe as the only Red Wings to do so.

On March 3, 2014, Franzén was named NHL's First Star of the Week. Franzén recorded three goals and two assists in two games to help lead the Red Wings to consecutive road victories.[15]

International career[edit]

Medal record
Ice hockey
Competitor for  Sweden
World Championships
Gold 2006 Latvia

Franzén replaced Tomas Holmström at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[16]

Franzén was replaced by teammate Gustav Nyquist at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi due to a concussion.[17]

Awards[edit]

  • Gold medal at the 2006 World Championships.
  • In 2006, Franzén was named "Detroit Red Wings Rookie of the Year" by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters' Association for his play during the 2005–06 season.
  • Stanley Cup with Detroit Red Wings in 2008.

Records[edit]

  • NHL record for most goals in a 4-game playoff series (9).
  • Detroit Red Wings record for most game-winning goals in one month, March 2008 (6).
  • Detroit Red Wings record for most goals in a single playoff series (9).
  • Detroit Red Wings record for consecutive playoff games with a point (12, tied with Gordie Howe)
  • Detroit Red Wings record for consecutive playoff games with a goal (5, tied with Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay).
  • Detroit Red Wings record for most goals in a single playoff year (13, tied with Henrik Zetterberg).
  • Detroit Red Wings record for most game-winning goals in one playoff year (5, 2008)
  • Detroit Red Wings record for most points in a playoff game (6), May 6, 2010, vs. San Jose Sharks

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1999–00 Tranås AIF Swe-4 14 2 9 11 6
2000–01 Linköpings HC Swe-2 41 12 20 32 26 10 3 3 6 0
2001–02 Linköpings HC SEL 36 2 6 8 64
2002–03 Linköpings HC SEL 37 2 4 6 14
2002–03 Linköpings HC Swe-2 10 1 4 5 4
2003–04 Linköpings HC SEL 49 12 18 30 26 5 0 1 1 8
2004–05 Linköpings HC SEL 43 7 7 14 45 6 2 0 2 16
2005–06 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 12 4 16 36 6 1 2 3 4
2006–07 Detroit Red Wings NHL 69 10 20 30 37 18 3 4 7 10
2007–08 Detroit Red Wings NHL 72 27 11 38 51 16 13 5 18 14
2008–09 Detroit Red Wings NHL 71 34 25 59 44 23 12 11 23 12
2009–10 Detroit Red Wings NHL 27 10 11 21 22 12 6 12 18 16
2010–11 Detroit Red Wings NHL 76 28 27 55 58 8 2 1 3 6
2011–12 Detroit Red Wings NHL 77 29 27 56 40 5 1 0 1 8
2012–13 Detroit Red Wings NHL 41 14 17 31 41 14 4 2 6 8
SEL totals 165 23 35 58 149 11 2 1 3 24
NHL totals 513 164 142 306 329 102 42 37 79 78

International[edit]

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2005 Sweden WC 5 1 0 1 0
2006 Sweden WC 8 0 3 3 12
2010 Sweden Oly 4 1 1 2 2
2012 Sweden WC 7 4 5 9 8
Senior int'l totals 24 6 9 15 22

Personal life[edit]

Johan Franzén and his longtime girlfriend, Cecilia, were married on Saturday, August 2, 2009. The couple welcomed their first child, Eddie Bo Johan Franzén on February 28, 2011. Franzén stated, "[Cecilia] liked Eddie, and Bo is her dad’s name. Usually we have three names back home (in Sweden). It was fun, something else. Pretty special.” Franzén created some confusion with teammates when he emailed a picture of the baby wearing blue while wrapped in a pink blanket — but didn't say whether it was a boy or girl. On May 13, 2013, Cecilia gave birth to their second son, Oliver Gunnar Franzén, the day after the Red Wings won game 7 of the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals against the Anaheim Ducks.

Fans and the teammates alike often refer to Franzén as, "The Mule," a name given to him by Steve Yzerman. As a rookie in 2005, Johan Franzen whizzed past Steve Yzerman on the ice. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Swede showed he’s more than just big when he scored twice and had an assist to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 series-opening win over the Colorado Avalanche. “He’s big and strong and he reminded me of a mule that day,” Yzerman had stated. “His offensive game really started to show up last year and now that his confidence has grown, he is holding onto the puck and making plays.”

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tough as a Mule". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2007-05-25. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Johan Franzén". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 2006-08-08. 
  3. ^ "Wings lock up Franzen". The Globe and Mail. 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2006-08-25. 
  4. ^ "Franzen inks three-year deal". Detroit Red Wings. 2006-08-28. Archived from the original on 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2006-09-22. 
  5. ^ "Red Wings grab four-goal win and 3-2 series lead". ESPN.com. 2007-04-21. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  6. ^ "Franzen Breaks Howe's GWG Record". redwings.nhl.com. 2008-03-30. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  7. ^ Game Recap of Game 4 of the Detroit-Colorado Western Conference Semifinals.
  8. ^ "Dallas 1, Detroit 4". ESPN.com. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  9. ^ "Possibly the coolest Johan Franzen-on-Patrick Kane smack-down you'll see today". MLive.com. 2009-05-25. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  10. ^ "Red Wings forward Johan Franzen says he couldn't resist ripping out Patrick Kane's mouthguard". MLive.com. 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  11. ^ "Wings sign forward Johan Franzen for 11 years". FreeP.com. 2009-04-11. Retrieved 2009-04-11. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Johan Franzen". www.capgeek.com. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  13. ^ "Nitzy's Hockey Den: May 2010". 
  14. ^ "Red Wings at Senators - 02/02/2011 - NHL.com - Recap". 2 February 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  15. ^ Franzen named NHL First Star of the week NHL.com, March 3, 2014
  16. ^ "Holmström missar OS - Johan Franzén ersätter". 14 February 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  17. ^ Nyquist to replace Franzen in Olympics NHL.com, February 3, 2014

External links[edit]