When are NHL teams going to learn? I’m hearing and reading reports that the Detroit Red Wings have granted Johan Franzen an 11-year contract extension. Fortunately, there are a couple things that make this deal a smart one.
The first is that Detroit is one of those teams that likes to lock in their players for a long time. There’s something to be said for a team that chooses their players carefully and maintains a fairly recognizable roster. It’s call consistency, people. “We are thrilled that Johan will remain a member of the Detroit Red Wings,” said general manager Ken Holland. “His production over the past year and a half, both regular season and playoffs, has been remarkable and we feel, at 29 years old, that he is just now entering the prime of his career.”
The other thing is that they have done this to try to keep the salary cap at a manageable level, which is particularly important given the current economy. Therefore, on average, Franzen will earn $3.9 million per year since the deal is worth $43 million.
In 69 games this season, Franzen recorded 34 goals and 25 assists which is pretty good considering the fact that he was on the bench for a little while as he healed from hip, knee and hand injuries. Still, one should always worry about the “extended contract curse” that seems to hit players with huge multi-year deals (yes, Rick DiPietro, I’m talking to you). Of course, there are times when this works out well for a player and the team so I’m hoping things don’t go wrong.