Johan Franzen has been anointed to replace Tomas Holmstrom on Detroit’s first power play unit

PLYMOUTH – The Wings think they’ve found their new net-front presence on the power play.

Johan Franzen has been anointed to replace Tomas Holmstrom on Detroit’s first power play unit.

“Mule has been waiting to be out on the first unit since he got here,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said after day two of training camp at Compuware Arena in Plymouth. “He thinks he should be. We think he should be too. So it’s a natural fit.”

Holmstrom, who will have his retirement officially announced at a press conference Thursday or Friday at Joe Louis Arena, spent 15 seasons providing that service with the Wings.

Detroit is also dealing with the retirement of the power play’s quarterback, Nicklas Lidstrom.

“Homer was a star at what he did,” Babcock said. “He was the best in the National Hockey League in my opinion. And Nick Lidstrom was the best defenseman, so you’re not getting Homer and you’re not getting Nick. But Mule, net-front, is as good as anybody. Now I’m telling you, Kronner is a hell of a player, but I’m not trying to tell you that he’s Nick Lidstrom. So I don’t know what we do about that.”

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