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Johan Franzen is still struggling.....

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He's actually at the top brain rehab center in the country in Colorado.    My friend Christine's husband Dave was just there.  He was the cop that got hit by a car a few months ago.   We always knew Franzen's issues were serious, but it doesn't sound like it's getting much better.   Best of luck to him. 

 

https://www.freep.com/story/sports/nhl/red-wings/2018/05/28/johan-franzen-nhl-head-injuries-wife/649351002/

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From reading his wife's blog, it seems like it would be a bit like being married to an alcoholic. Good days and bad days but on the bad days he's like a totally different person. And a more helpless feeling because it doesn't seem there's much he or experts can do to make himself better. Hope this latest try works out for him.

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23 minutes ago, lordstanley said:

From reading his wife's blog, it seems like it would be a bit like being married to an alcoholic. Good days and bad days but on the bad days he's like a totally different person. And a more helpless feeling because it doesn't seem there's much he or experts can do to make himself better. Hope this latest try works out for him.

Sadly I deal with this due to concussions.  Happened to me on Saturday, I FREAKED OUT when my wife wouldn't pick where she wanted to eat (she is dieting so I've been leaving it up to her so she can get something she wants while adhering to her diet) and rejected my first suggestion.  Such a silly thing, and I semi-realized it in the moment, but that realization only made me more angry because I couldn't really figure out whey I was so enraged and it just made me more upset.  Over where to go for lunch!  In hindsight it made me want to dig a hole and disappear because it is so freaking stupid.  I've noticed my mood swings as being a lot more drastic after my latest suspected concussion about a month or two ago.  Luckily my wife is a saint and gives me my space and doesn't hold it against me after I realize how I've been.

I'll be rooting for Johan and keeping a close eye on his [hopefully] road to semi-recovery.  I really had hoped with the time off from hockey he would be feeling a bit better outside of headaches.  Scary stuff.

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Cases like this is precisely I will never begrudge an athlete collecting money on the back end of a long term deal instead of retiring.

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2 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Cases like this is precisely I will never begrudge an athlete collecting money on the back end of a long term deal instead of retiring.

Me either. 

However, the NHL shouldn't punish teams by making them count that player's salary against the cap.  I understand the NHL is trying to prevent abuse of long-term contracts, but Franzen is clearly unable to play for the rest of his life.

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26 minutes ago, Euphdude said:

Me either. 

However, the NHL shouldn't punish teams by making them count that player's salary against the cap.  I understand the NHL is trying to prevent abuse of long-term contracts, but Franzen is clearly unable to play for the rest of his life.

How hard could it be for the league to have a medical certification provided by their own doctors for such cases?

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2 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

How hard could it be for the league to have a medical certification provided by their own doctors for such cases?

Sounds like a discussion to be had during the next CBA session.

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10 hours ago, Euphdude said:

Me either. 

However, the NHL shouldn't punish teams by making them count that player's salary against the cap.  I understand the NHL is trying to prevent abuse of long-term contracts, but Franzen is clearly unable to play for the rest of his life.

I agree with this - and with any sport that has a salary cap.  If the player is legitimately hurt and their career is over, the money shouldn't be counted.   

 

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To be fair the NHL doesn't seem to care about the LTIR abuse, heck they gave Pronger a job with the league while he was still on a roster (Phoenix?) and most recently they're letting Chicago get out of Hossa's deal.

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On 5/29/2018 at 4:07 PM, drownwithyou said:

Sadly I deal with this due to concussions

That sucks, sounds rough.

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3 hours ago, drownwithyou said:

To be fair the NHL doesn't seem to care about the LTIR abuse, heck they gave Pronger a job with the league while he was still on a roster (Phoenix?) and most recently they're letting Chicago get out of Hossa's deal.

Then there’s no reason why the NHL shouldn’t let them get out from under the Franzen deal. 

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8 hours ago, drownwithyou said:

To be fair the NHL doesn't seem to care about the LTIR abuse, heck they gave Pronger a job with the league while he was still on a roster (Phoenix?) and most recently they're letting Chicago get out of Hossa's deal.

How can they let Chicago out of the Hosea deal and not Detroit and Franzen?

I haven’t seen anything about Chicago not having Hossa count against cal but I know you follow this sort of stuff way closer than me. I am hoping you have some sort of explanation.

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On 5/29/2018 at 6:07 PM, drownwithyou said:

Sadly I deal with this due to concussions.  Happened to me on Saturday, I FREAKED OUT when my wife wouldn't pick where she wanted to eat (she is dieting so I've been leaving it up to her so she can get something she wants while adhering to her diet) and rejected my first suggestion.  Such a silly thing, and I semi-realized it in the moment, but that realization only made me more angry because I couldn't really figure out whey I was so enraged and it just made me more upset.  Over where to go for lunch!  In hindsight it made me want to dig a hole and disappear because it is so freaking stupid.  I've noticed my mood swings as being a lot more drastic after my latest suspected concussion about a month or two ago.  Luckily my wife is a saint and gives me my space and doesn't hold it against me after I realize how I've been.

I'll be rooting for Johan and keeping a close eye on his [hopefully] road to semi-recovery.  I really had hoped with the time off from hockey he would be feeling a bit better outside of headaches.  Scary stuff.

I hope you feel better moving forward. 

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This is a very sad thing. Johan was so critical to our winning that 2008 cup. He was on fire in the playoffs. He had some games where he was an absolute machine, and I don't think we get through that run without him. I've voiced my displeasure with signing him over Hossa, but that really had less to do with what Franzen was than where they each were, relatively speaking, at that point in time in their careers. Obviously you can look back now and call it a horrible result because of the injury, but I don't think that's a fair analysis. What always made me cringe though was when he tried to come back- he clearly did not want to play to contact, and that was so much of his game before. It was kind of like taking a fish out of water, and it was really tough to watch. You hate to see something like this happen to any player. 

Franzen is a nice man with a beautiful family who gave absolutely everything he had to the red wings. Nobody deserves to have that kind of awful life at such an early age. I hope he gets this figured out. I have real concerns that he's going to be like the retired football players with the traumatic brain injuries. It's not a pleasant retirement for those guys. Hopefully they can find a way to treat it so he can avoid that awful outcome. 

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On 6/1/2018 at 8:21 PM, stanpapi said:

This is a very sad thing. Johan was so critical to our winning that 2008 cup. He was on fire in the playoffs. He had some games where he was an absolute machine, and I don't think we get through that run without him. I've voiced my displeasure with signing him over Hossa, but that really had less to do with what Franzen was than where they each were, relatively speaking, at that point in time in their careers. Obviously you can look back now and call it a horrible result because of the injury, but I don't think that's a fair analysis. What always made me cringe though was when he tried to come back- he clearly did not want to play to contact, and that was so much of his game before. It was kind of like taking a fish out of water, and it was really tough to watch. You hate to see something like this happen to any player. 

Franzen is a nice man with a beautiful family who gave absolutely everything he had to the red wings. Nobody deserves to have that kind of awful life at such an early age. I hope he gets this figured out. I have real concerns that he's going to be like the retired football players with the traumatic brain injuries. It's not a pleasant retirement for those guys. Hopefully they can find a way to treat it so he can avoid that awful outcome. 

I think he already is like those football players.  I think it's already started and there is little evidence to believe there is serious long term improvement.   I think all they can hope for right now is some small steps in the short term.   

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On 6/2/2018 at 11:11 PM, Motor City Sonics said:

I think he already is like those football players.  I think it's already started and there is little evidence to believe there is serious long term improvement.   I think all they can hope for right now is some small steps in the short term.   

Look at how many hockey old timers live to very old age (Gordie, Ted, Johnny Bower, Milt Schmidt, etc. etc.) with no problems. Those guys never even wore helmets. Have you ever seen Lindsay or Johnny Bower's faces up close? Those guys got their bells rung regularly. Having said this, Stan Mikita is basically unable to function on his own now due to dementia, and he wore a helmet for much of his career. I've often wondered why more hockey players don't end up like the football players do (on average). Maybe I am just not paying attention, but other than Stan and Johan, it's really just the few fighters who have had the brain issues. Conversely, it seems like most football players have had it happen to them, and it's happened as early as their 40s. Perhaps that will change once the current crop of NHLers from the generation of bigger, faster players starts to age, but I hope not. 

Franzen is a sad case though. I hope he sees some improvement. 

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I think the game was considerably slower 60 years ago, and there were fewer concussions then as a consequence.

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17 minutes ago, stanpapi said:

Look at how many hockey old timers live to very old age (Gordie, Ted, Johnny Bower, Milt Schmidt, etc. etc.) with no problems. Those guys never even wore helmets. Have you ever seen Lindsay or Johnny Bower's faces up close? Those guys got their bells rung regularly. Having said this, Stan Mikita is basically unable to function on his own now due to dementia, and he wore a helmet for much of his career. I've often wondered why more hockey players don't end up like the football players do (on average). Maybe I am just not paying attention, but other than Stan and Johan, it's really just the few fighters who have had the brain issues. Conversely, it seems like most football players have had it happen to them, and it's happened as early as their 40s. Perhaps that will change once the current crop of NHLers from the generation of bigger, faster players starts to age, but I hope not. 

Franzen is a sad case though. I hope he sees some improvement. 

A few reasons for the old timers not having the same issues. 

First - We really don't know if they had at least some of the issues because it really wasn't studied.  I think a lot of players actually do struggle.

Second -  The game wasn't nearly as fast and the players weren't nearly as big as they are now.   Howe was huge back in his day, but he'd be pretty close to average now.   Hockey players work out year-round these days.   Back in Gordie's day they had jobs in the summer - they had to.  

Third -  Before players had helmets they were less likely to take a cheap shot at someone's head like they do now.   When helmets came along there seemed to be a feeling like - yeah, I can nail him, he's got a helmet on. 

Fourth - Helmets protect outer blows to the head, but a concussion is actually when the brain hits the inside of the skull and that can happen when someone is hit in the torso and their head snaps back 

Fifth - Pads are a lot bigger too which means players, who are bigger and faster, are more likely to use their body as a weapon because they won't absorb as much of the blow as in the past, and that leads to hitting the body and having the head snap back. 

Sixth -  I think travel plays a role in player fatigue and recovery.  Remember that back in the old days they had six teams.   The longest travel was NY to Chicago.

 

I think helmets bring a false sense of security or invincibility to these guys.    But it would be insane to play without them too.  

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19 hours ago, Motor City Sonics said:

A few reasons for the old timers not having the same issues. 

First - We really don't know if they had at least some of the issues because it really wasn't studied.  I think a lot of players actually do struggle.

Second -  The game wasn't nearly as fast and the players weren't nearly as big as they are now.   Howe was huge back in his day, but he'd be pretty close to average now.   Hockey players work out year-round these days.   Back in Gordie's day they had jobs in the summer - they had to.  

Third -  Before players had helmets they were less likely to take a cheap shot at someone's head like they do now.   When helmets came along there seemed to be a feeling like - yeah, I can nail him, he's got a helmet on. 

Fourth - Helmets protect outer blows to the head, but a concussion is actually when the brain hits the inside of the skull and that can happen when someone is hit in the torso and their head snaps back 

Fifth - Pads are a lot bigger too which means players, who are bigger and faster, are more likely to use their body as a weapon because they won't absorb as much of the blow as in the past, and that leads to hitting the body and having the head snap back. 

Sixth -  I think travel plays a role in player fatigue and recovery.  Remember that back in the old days they had six teams.   The longest travel was NY to Chicago.

 

I think helmets bring a false sense of security or invincibility to these guys.    But it would be insane to play without them too.  

agree - hard helmets and better pads have almost certainly increased concussion frequency in  hockey and of course football as well.

Of course, concussion is not the only effect of helmets on hockey. Before helmets you had less cease parking by the offensive team, which made for a more open offensive game than today. I'd like to see the goalie pads cut down and a much larger crease with a 1 or 2 second rule so a skater can skate into or through the crease to shoot but can't stay there to harry the goalie. I really hate that part of today's offense.

The trick is how do you make guys play more carefully without taking away their head protection, since that is a non-starter.

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There is no way the game is less offensive today than 60 years ago.

Very few players park themselves in front of the net now.

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3 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

There is no way the game is less offensive today than 60 years ago.

Very few players park themselves in front of the net now.

didn't say it was a matter of more or less offense - but a more or less open style, by which I meant a different thing. There are plenty of goals scored out of scrums in front of the net, but I always find those less entertaining from a fan perspective. 

And its true enough parking in front of the net didn't start with Helmets, Phil Esposito and Frank Mahavelich did it even the pre-helmet days, but it may have reached its zenith with Tomas Holmstrom. I would agree I think the good teams are playing a better game today than even when the Wings last won, but of course the Wings haven't done much of anything better since then.

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6 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

How was the game more open say 50 years ago?

Oh jeez - it's so different now in so many ways few things even seem comparable. But take shooting - the sticks are so much better for shooting that there is much more stop and set slap shooting -of course they are trickier for puck handling. At the most basic level some of the arenas were bigger (of course most definitely not Boston). The old Montreal Forum was wider, when Olympia was built the ice was huge - way over Olympic - it was cut down over the years - probably was down to NHL size by the last renovations in the 60's but probably was bigger before then when the seating capacity was lower. Look look at the 66 Det/Mont game film LS just posted - almost no body checking,  you didn't have a lot of guys  taking time to line up to run other guys and then ending up on their *** and taking time to get up! xD. I'm sure that is mostly related to protective equip changes.  And the fact the goalies can defend so much of the net - you score most on rockets from the point, or deflections or chaos in front of the net - none of which is new per se, but it's much harder to beat todays' goalies on any kind of intermediate shot while moving. A butterfly might even stop a quick shot from a pass across to an open wing in close. The changes remind in a way of how the intermediate game has lost its value in basketball as a result of the 3 point shot.

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It's funny Biggs, I think there are some games that maybe it's best not to play at the most extreme level. The old-old game guys lost a lot of teeth and took a lot of stitches, but it was hard to get the puck in the air with the flat stick and it hurt to hit other guys hard so there wasn't that much of it. But as the game has added speed, equipment tech has improved, player protection had to get better, and the big money drives the the stakes higher, and so the hitting gets more ferocious and now guys are getting their brains jellied. Go figure.

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