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March is Mule's month

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Johan Franzen accepts his Hardest Working Player of the Month award for March from Carhartt's Sanja Zarubica and Red Wings' ad sales account executive.
DETROIT — March must be the month of the Mule.

For the second straight season, Johan Franzen enjoyed a near flawless March, leading the Red Wings to an 8-4-1 record with 17 points.

March was Franzen’s best point-productive month of the season, collecting seven goals and 10 assists with a plus-4. For his efforts, he was named Carhartt’s Hardest Working Player of the Month.

He finished the month with 32 goals and 24 assists in 30 games – all personal single-season bests since joining the NHL in 2005.

Franzen will receive his award from Carhartt sponsorship and event specialist Sanja Zarubica during a pre-game ceremony prior to the start of the Wings-Predators game at Joe Louis Arena on April 9.

Franzen is the second Red Wings’ player to receive the award twice, joining Pavel Datsyuk. Franzen won the award last March with his 18-point performance, which included six game-winning goals.

During the regular-season, Carhartt has presented the monthly award to the hardest working Red Wings’ player, along with Carhartt merchandise. The award, in its second season, recognizes the player for his hard work and individual dedication to commitment necessary to excel on the ice. The Red Wings’ coaching staff and front office personnel select the monthly recipients.

Franzen had at least a point in 10 of the 13 games in March, including six multi-point performances. Entering the month, he had seven multi-point games this season.

He had three power-play points during the month, including a game-winning goal that gave the Wings a four-goal cushion in their 6-3 victory at Atlanta on March 20. That outing tied his season-high for point production, matching his three-point performance from Feb. 18 vs. Nashville.

He had five consecutive multi-point games with two-point performances at Columbus (Mar. 15), vs. Philadelphia (Mar. 17), at Calgary (Mar. 23) and at Edmonton (Mar. 24).

Franzen’s two game-winning goals in March gave him eight for the season, -- equally his total from the 2007-08 season.

Franzen is the 13th Red Wing so honored by Carhartt since last season, joining past recipients Bran Rafalski (Feb. ’09), Datsyuk (Jan. ’09, Dec. ’07), Henrik Zetterberg (Oct. ’07), Chris Osgood (Nov. ’07), Dan Cleary (Jan. ’08), trainers Piet VanZant and Russ Baumann (Feb. ’08), Marian Hossa (Oct. ’08) and Andreas Lilja (Nov. ’08)

For over 115 years, Carhartt has manufactured premium workwear known for exceptional durability, comfort, quality of construction, and fit that you can feel in the fabrics and see in the performance. Established in 1889, Carhartt is family-owned and operated with over 4,000 employees dedicated to providing Best-in-Class apparel for the active worker.

Carhartt and the Red Wings would like to recognize Johan Franzen for his outstanding work and success during March and wish him continued success in the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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