Franzen Withdraws From Olympics

Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen withdrew from the Swedish Olympic team on Thursday, citing concussion symptoms.

Franzen missed sixteen games with a concussion suffered against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 15. He returned for the Red Wings’ shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on Sunday but immediately returned to injured reserve, missing the team’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

“It’s doubtful we’ll play him before the Olympic break,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. “Hopefully he’ll be ready to go after the Olympics.”

Detroit forward Gustav Nyquist is a candidate to replace Franzen on Sweden’s roster.

Samuelsson Clears Waivers, Assigned to Grand Rapids

Veteran forward Mikael Samuelsson cleared waivers at noon on Sunday and has been assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Detroit Red Wings announced.

The move clears a roster spot for Johan Franzen‘s return from injury, as he re-enters the lineup with Detroit hosting the Florida Panthers Sunday evening.

As Samuelsson is on an over-35 contract, only $100,000 of his $3 million salary cap hit will be buried by his demotion to the American Hockey League. This won’t be an issue for the Red Wings until Stephen Weiss comes off of long-term injured reserve at the end of the Olympic break.

Samuelsson was a healthy scratch for 25 games this season. In 26 games of mostly fourth-line action, he has one goal and two assists and a -4 rating.

Red Wings Place Forward Samuelsson on Waivers

The Detroit Red Wings placed forward Mikael Samuelsson on waivers on Saturday, paving the way for Johan Franzen‘s return from injury in Sunday’s matchup with the Florida Panthers.

Sameulsson is not expected to be claimed and will be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins upon clearing. He has been a healthy scratch in 25 games this season

The move would open up a roster spot for Franzen, who has missed the past 15 games with a concussion. It would not, however, clear much salary cap space, as only $100,000 of Samuelsson’s $3 million cap hit would be saved by assigning him to the Griffins.

The Red Wings won’t face a salary cap crunch until Stephen Weiss returns from long-term injured reserve, expected to happen after the Olympic break.