We know the story with Johan Franzen, and his ongoing battle with concussions. He's sustained enough to count on two hands, and is actively trying to return to the roster in time for the 2015-2016 regular season. Brad Galli of WXYZ-TV publicized some concerning quotes from the Mule this afternoon on Twitter:
Let's get this straight - Franzen, who last played a game in January is still having setbacks on a weekly basis? Why is no one saying anything? Why are they letting him decide on his terms? Clearly by the way Franzen has made it sound, he isn't going to retire unless he feels like he should. Considering the history Franzen has had with traumatic head injuries, you'd be crazy to not be concerned for him, and his family.
Of course, this is all talk. Mule says he "Hopes to be able to play" and is "Working hard to be ready." He hasn't been cleared yet, and until he is, he's not returning regardless of what he wants. Since he's having weekly setbacks, there's no way in hell that he's getting cleared unless things change quickly. Remember, players have to go at least a week without symptoms before being cleared. The problem here is that's it has been this long, and he's still having weekly setbacks. Do we really think his symptoms are going to change? My gut tells me that while it might go away, his brain is essentially an egg waiting to be cracked. Do I want to be watching the game that potentially ends Franzen's career, and puts his life at serious risk? Absolutely not. I watched Jiri Fischer's last game, and I have no interest of ever watching an even like that ever again.
The good news: Franzen has to be cleared by sports neurologists at the University of Michigan before he can play.— George Malik (@georgemalik) September 2, 2015
The comforting thing is that I can't imagine a doctor clearing a man for full contact after having weekly setbacks for over half-a-year. With that, the Wings could simply put him on LTIR, and go the "Pronger route." But what happens if he does get cleared? Surely the organization has to open it's eyes and save this man's life, correct? At that point he needs to be benched, and his cap hit needs to be eaten like normal. The other route that could be taken is retirement, which he has stated he will decide on his own, but if that were to happen there would be cap recapture (Red Wings will need to pay this even if he gets traded.) Much like what the Wings will be paying with the buyout of Stephen Weiss
I'm not kidding here, folks - A doctor needs to give the OK before he returns. The man, or woman whose livelihood is diagnosing and treating brain injuries must give the go-ahead to Franzen. This man, and his family habe been through hell and back dealing with concussion-like symptoms. I realize that hockey means a lot to Franzen, but he's a friend, a husband, and a father. Let's please keep it that way.