Saturday, April 11, 2009

Franzen Extends For 11

The Red Wings were really tickled pink to announce that they have re-signed Johan Franzen to a long-term deal on Saturday. The deal is reported to be for 11 years and worth $42.9 million over the duration. That would mean that the salary cap hit will be $3.9 million a year. This does have the makings of being quite the bargain again for the Red Wings, who have started to get their top players to sign for less money to stay on a winning team.

This season, Franzen has been a force for the Red Wings, when he is healthy. In 70 games this season, Franzen has 34 goals and 25 assists, which ranks him in the top 100 of pool scoring and has signed a deal that sees him in the same range as Scott Hartnell and Milan Hejduk, who are in the same scoring range this year. Franzen should be ranked as a third or fourth round pick in your Draft in the regular season and he should be a high priority in your Playoff Pool.

The Red Wings have a barrel of questions that they need to have answered this summer, as they now have 17 players signed on for next season at an annual salary cap hit of $51.8 million, which might leave just enough for some young kids to fill the roster. Let's have a look at the 17 I have pegged for next season and you can decide who might be thought to be expendable to fit in another player or two.

Pavel DatsyukNicklas LidstromChris Osgood
Henrik ZetterbergBrian RafalskiJimmy Howard
Johan FranzenNiklas Kronwall
Tomas HolmstromBrett Lebda
Dan ClearyAndreas Lilja
Valtteri FilppulaBrad Stuart
Kirk MaltbyDerek Meech
Kris Draper

Working from the back end forward, the Red Wings have some serious backing and if Chris Osgood does come back, he should be teamed up with Jimmy Howard, who has been waiting in the wings (so to speak) for some time in the Detroit system. The Wings already have their seven defensemen locked up and it's a good bunch, especially when you throw in Derek Meech. Brad Stuart may fall to the wayside, because of his salary, but he could be a valuable commodity to move. The holes in the forward lines will be interesting to see how they are filled, but they have plenty of scoring already signed up for next season.

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