DETROIT >> Right now the furthest thing on Ken Holland’s mind is when Johan Franzen will return to the ice for the Detroit Wings.
“Right now the number one thing from my perspective is that Johan has a wife and a family,” the Wings general manager said in a phone interview. “If he gets to a place in his life where he wakes up every day and feels good about himself and feels good about facing the day … but right now he’s not there. I think that’s the most important thing before there’s even any contemplation of returning to play hockey.”
Franzen, 35, missed his third straight game Saturday night in Montreal after leaving Joe Louis Arena Tuesday after the morning skate prior to the Wings taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
He has suffered multi concussions in his career, the last of which occurred last season after a blind-side hit by Edmonton’s Rob Klinkhammer last January. He finished the game, but began experiencing concussion-like symptoms the next day.
Franzen didn’t return the rest of the season.
“It’s like last year,” Holland said. “He went home, day of the game, we thought all was good. We don’t want to use the word setback. I don’t think it’s been as positive recovery the last couple of months as I think we wanted us all to think.”
Franzen, who averaged just under 13 minutes of ice time in two games, picking up one assist, was placed on short-term injured reserve (minimum seven days).
He was cleared to resume playing prior to the start of training camp.
Franzen, who has 187 goals and 182 assists in 600 regular season games with the Wings, said up until the time of training camp that his headaches weren’t completely gone, but they’re not as severe.
Franzen, who has been limited to just 128 regular season games over the last three seasons, played in 33 games a year ago, picking up seven goals and 15 assists.
Franzen has 42 goals and 39 assists in 107 playoff games.