Red Wings Buyout Talk: How to Love Johan Franzen Again

One of these guys consistently tops ten goals. The other is pretty widely loved among Wings fans - Doug Pensinger

I know a lot of you were hoping that the Red Wings would use their final compliance buyout on Johan Franzen. We asked you and 57% of you said that. I get the reasons too.

  • He's lazy and you hate him
  • You hate him and he's lazy
  • His contract is very long and there's no way he contributes at a level worth having a $3.9M cap hit until 2020
  • There's a laziness thing going on here and also a thing about hating him
  • Being given a contract based on past playoff performance and then providing a low level of future performance is annoying.
  • The hatred you have for the laziness of he who is him
  • SO MUCH LAZY SO HATRED
  • You are a member of the Detroit media and he didn't want to talk to you

I'm not here to disagree with your reasons. Whatever reasons you don't like him are yours and it's an important part of what drives your fandom. Besides, I'm not exactly solidly in the stirrups of my high horse if I suddenly decide to get outright judgmental about people being frustrated with Johan Franzen.

But, like it or not, the diggers have asked and Kenny has spoken: Franzen isn't going to face the buyout axe unless somebody's lying to us. I guess it's possible that he's trade bait, but come on, when was the last time an everyday roster player got traded out of Detroit? Jason Williams? Wait... was it seriously Jason Williams? Holy shit. Ok.

With that in mind, we've got to find a way to cope with somehow being saddled with a perennial 25-ish goal guy who may or may not reach that output due to injury and who also has a cap hit below $4M. I know you agree.

We're going to make it through this together, I promise. We won't let this trying time defeat us. Here's a group of coping mechanisms I've come up with to potentially lessen the burden of accepting Johan Franzen back into our hearts:

  • Make a cutout of a handlebar mustache and a cowboy hat to place over your screen every time Franzen's face is on the ice. Call him "Jebediah Freehome" and just pretend he's a lost cowboy looking for the filthy rustlers who stole off with his prize heifers.
  • Get one of those foam bricks to throw at your television whenever he takes a bad penalty or lays on the ice for a little too long trying to draw a call. Careful! Don't accidentally hit somebody else when Fox Sports Detroit inexplicably jump-cuts to Justin Abdelkader's crotch behind the play. For an added bonus, do five pushups every time you do accidentally miss Franzen. By the end of the season, you'll be as strong as he should be on the puck.
  • Try to keep in mind that he's not really supposed to be a centerpiece of the team and that it might be unreasonable to hold onto Conn Smythe-level expectations for a guy who's essentially paid halfway between what a superstar and a scrub makes and that sometimes he's going to look more like the former while sometimes he'll look more like the latter.
  • Blame Jimmy Howard instead
  • Keep a "Johan Franzen Feels" diary and write down every time Johan Franzen does something that makes you experience emotion. When you pluck out strands of your own hair in frustration, tape those right to the pages of this diary. Alternately, when he does something that makes any sort of fluid come out of your body, try to capture this fluid on the feels pages. Try to mark down the specific thing that he does which gives you feelings. When the season is over, turn this diary over to your parole officer.
  • Internalize your frustration with a guy who practically defines unrealized potential and try to take all the anger you have over Franzen on yourself. Why the hell didn't you finish rebuilding that engine, you lazy fuck? How dare you not go back to school and finish up your thesis. So you're not going to ask that girl out even once? You chickenhearted shitheel. That guy makes millions to waste his natural talents. What's your excuse?
  • Seriously though, the part where maybe we just accept the streakiness as part of what keeps his cap hit so manageable and realize that the guy on the Blackhawks he compares better to as far as cap hits go isn't Marian Hossa, but Bryan Bickell? That might help some, right?

Oh fuck, I mentioned Hossa. You pretty much shut down before you even got to Bickell's name, didn't you? I'm sorry. I shouldn't have. I really shouldn't.

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