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Headaches knock Franzen out of Olympics

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Center  - DET
Goals: 9 | Assists: 14 | Pts: 23

Shots: 79 | +/-: 6
DETROIT – The Red Wings confirmed Thursday that Johan Franzen, who was looking forward to representing his country in his second Winter Olympic Games, has notified Swedish team officials that he will not play in Sochi, Russia.

Franzen was placed on short-term injured reserve Tuesday, just two days after his come back attempt from a concussion, which he sustained against Tampa Bay on Dec. 15.

“I thought I was going to be out five days because it wasn’t much of a hit and that’s usually how long it takes before you get rid of the headache,” Franzen said Saturday. “It just wouldn’t go away. Just cross my fingers now and hopefully it’s going to stay away.”

Franzen missed 16 games before Sunday when he logged nearly 17 minutes of ice time, and even picked up an assist in a 5-4 shootout loss to Florida. But the veteran forward began to experience symptoms related to his concussion Tuesday morning in Philadelphia.

The earliest Franzen can return to the Wings’ lineup is Monday when the Vancouver Canucks visit Joe Louis Arena. However, Wings general manager Ken Holland said it’s unlikely that Franzen will play anytime soon. As for now, there’s no need to put Franzen on long-term IR, though he could be added later should his symptoms not improve.

“It’s doubtful we’ll play him before the Olympic break,” Holland said. “Hopefully he’ll be ready to go after the Olympics.”

Franzen has played for Tre Kroner in four international tournaments, including the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2006 World Championship in Latvia, where he helped Sweden win the gold medal.

Franzen is one component – an Olympic gold medal – away from becoming the ninth player in Red Wings’ history to join the prestigious Triple Gold Club, which is a fraternity of players and coaches who have won a Stanley Cup as well as Olympic and World Championship gold medals.

He has nine goals and 23 points with a plus-6 rating in 31 games for the Red Wings this season.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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