Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Knee-to-knee hit will cost Johan Franzen at least three preseason games

Johan Franzen

Detroit Red Wings center Johan Franzen, of Sweden, warms up before an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010, in St. Louis. Franzen hasn’t played since sustaining a knee injury early in the season. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


It appears, at least, that Johan Franzen and the Detroit Red Wings face a good news, bad news situation. The good news is that it seems like the fallout of Brooks Oprik’s knee-to-knee hit on the injury prone forward won’t be too severe. The bad news is that he will, in fact, miss time and might be re-evaluated later on.

According to a story in the Associated Press, Franzen will be held out of at least three preseason games because of that “charley horse.”

The Detroit Red Wings expect forward Johan Franzen to miss at least three preseason games with a thigh injury.

Franzen was hurt in a collision with Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik. The Penguins defenseman was given a major penalty for kneeing Franzen and knocking him from the game during the first period of Wednesday night’s preseason opener for both teams.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock says he’s hoping the NHL fines Orpik for the hit.

Knee-to-knee hits are dangerous and often seem to get swept under the rug since they lack the bombastic awe of a hit to the head. Sometimes they are accidental, but there are frequent moments when it’s pretty difficult to give the offending party the benefit of the doubt.

Franzen can be an absolute force on the ice, but the problem is that he’s starting to develop a Peter Forsbergian track record of being rugged yet extremely injury prone. The Red Wings better be careful not to break “The Mule” by forcing him back too soon.