The Mule

A few weeks ago, I found myself thinking that I sometimes wish that the Wings had held onto Marian Hossa and let Johan Franzen walk in the 2009 offseason. Of course, the Wings re-signed Franzen to a massive extension and that, combined with Henrik Zetterberg’s extension, made it impossible for them to keep Hossa. Hossa then went onto sign with the Chicago Blackhawks and win a Stanley Cup in 2010.

This feeling came with Franzen’s late season slump in which he only scored two goals in his final 20+ games, while Hossa was riding high with 25 points in his last 23 games. Franzen looked disinterested and lazy at times during that slump, and after seeing what he was capable of in a five goal game against earlier this season, it was extremely frustrating to watch.

But once again, the Mule is showing everyone why he earned that multi year extension with the Wings, he performs in the playoffs, while Hossa often fades into the background. Even last season, when the Hawks won the Cup, Hossa only had three goals and 12 assists in 22 games! With Detroit’s run ending in the second round, Franzen piled up six goals and 12 assists in only 18 games. In the 23 games played in 2008-09, when both were members of the Wings run to the Final, Hossa had 15 points, Franzen had 23.

When the going gets tough, the Mule steps up.

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