Detroit Red Wings: When Will Johan Franzen Start Contributing?

By Jonathan Katje
Franzen Red Wings
Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings have won three consecutive games, thanks in no small part to finally seeing their offense click. Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss have started contributing on a regular basis, while Henrik Zetterberg has continued a hot start that has seen him score five goals and pick up nine points in seven games. As the Red Wings try and keep this momentum going in the coming weeks there is still one player who needs to find his offensive spark, and that is winger Johan Franzen.

Franzen is now the only player on the top two lines without a goal. He has three assists in seven games while seeing around 17 minutes of ice time per game. Franzen gets plenty of power play time too, so his lack of production continues to surprise. He started the season playing with Weiss and Alfredsson, and is now on a line with Weiss and Justin Abdelkader. The Red Wings got 14 goals and 31 points from Franzen last season, but only three of those came in the first 14 games.

Franzen has become known for slow starts and streaky play over the past few seasons, but that has often been defended by saying he always comes around and is good for 30 goals and 50 points in any given season. For a Detroit team that can’t afford to leave any points on the table this season, they need more from a player who makes nearly $4 million per season for the next seven seasons.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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