Well, not retire, but pull a Chris Pronger (or Marc Savard) and reside on the Detroit Red Wings’ long-term IR for the duration of his contract. Johan Franzen has had a great career with the Red Wings, but he should focus on what matters most—his family.
After reading his story of not being able to spend time with his kids and living most of his life in the darkness of his bedroom to recover, a return to hockey may not be in his best interest, and we should not frown upon a decision to step away. Of course, I wish Franzen could have retired on his terms rather than being forced into early retirement by injury. If he was healthy, I would be happy to have Franzen on the Red Wings for the remainder of his contract, despite his declining production.
It is fitting that this topic comes up four years and a day after the death of former NHL enforcer, Derek Boogaard. Stories like his and Wade Belak’s cautionary tale really make you re-evaluate what matters most.
“Hockey isn’t the end-all, be-all.”
Darren McCarty said this after overcoming drug and alcohol abuse (the first time). This also applies to Franzen’s situation. Hockey should not be his number one concern, especially at this stage of his life.
Even if Johan Franzen is given a clean bill of health before training camp, I hope he does what’s right. Another concussion could make life much worse. Don’t bet that it won’t happen again.
Enjoy the memories.More concussions could result in the loss of them.