Johan Franzen on IR as concussion symptoms return; future unknown

Puck Daddy
Detroit Red Wings' Johan Franzen (93) celebrates his goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (AP Photo/Canadian Press, John Woods)
Detroit Red Wings' Johan Franzen (93) celebrates his goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (AP Photo/Canadian Press, John Woods)

"If I would get a really bad hit again and I would feel the same way again, that's probably it.” 

Those were Johan Franzen’s words to WXYZ’s Brad Galli three weeks ago as he returned to the ice for training camp with the Detroit Red Wings.

Well, we’re at a point in time now where Franzen really needs to consider his future. On Thursday, Red Wings GM Ken Holland announced the forward has been placed on short-term injured reserve after concussion symptoms returned.

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The short-term move is for at least seven days and allows Holland to activate Darren Helm as Franzen’s replacement in the lineup when he’s ready. 

"Obviously, we want him to get well," said head coach Jeff Blashill, via The Detroit News. "But I don't, again, know what that means. I don't know what the future will hold.

The 35-year old Franzen has played in two games for the Red Wings, with 12:33 and 13:21 of ice time, respectively. He suited up for 33 games last season after another concussion sidelined him in early January. That led to issues that didn’t allow him to play with his kids for more than a few minutes at a time.

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"I don't want to get lower than that ever again,” he told Galli. “It was tough. It was really important to have family around and the kids, too.”

"I want to decide on my own when I quit.” 

Franzen is owed $12.5 million over the next five years, which will means he won’t officially announce his retirement any time soon if he cannot return, like Chris Pronger. His contract carries a $3,954,545 cap hit for the Red Wings through 2020, per General Fanager

Like every professional athlete, Franzen doesn’t want concussions to be the reason his hockey career ends. He wants to go out on his own terms. But after what he and his family have gone through during his career, it might be better to just say goodbye.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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