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Wings will use compliance buyout on Tootoo, not Franzen

Apr 29, 2014, 1:37 PM EDT

From Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press:

Tootoo is signed through next season for a cap hit of $1.9 million. The 31-year-old winger only played 11 games for the Wings this season, registering a lone assist. Which is to say, it’s unlikely a team is going to be interested in acquiring his services.

Detroit has already used one of its two compliance buyouts on Carlo Colaiacovo. Now that Holland has come out and said Tootoo is likely to be the second, I guess we can put an end to the Johan Franzen compliance-buyout talk.

Or you can just take it from Holland himself:

Related: Babcock perplexed by Franzen’s media silence

  1. 0ffsides - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Mule needs to step up his game. Too big of a body, too big of a contract to justify his lackluster play. I didn’t like it when they signed him for that many years…disappeared ala Federov after getting paid.

    • redwings1977 - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      It sure would be nice to have Hossa instead. But I guess hindsight is 20/20…

  2. bensawesomeness - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    I really like Tootoo, good guy, hope he finds another job , but Kenny’s right, it’s time

    • 101starmymedic - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      I like Toots more than Mule, Mule is a big body but doesn’t use it to get dirty and physical. Too bad you can’t give Toots the skill of Mule and get rid of Mule. Toots has loads of heart. Every time he gets called up he knows he’s going to get sent back down but he gives every shift his all.

      It’s a shame that skill isn’t derived from heart because Tootoo would be an all-star.

  3. redwings1977 - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Terrible choice. Franzen skates hard about 5% of the time. The rest of the game he’ll just glide around with his stick at his waist. I defend Holland most of the time, but I just don’t understand this move.

    • bensawesomeness - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      Problem is : do you want him playing for the other guy when he drops 5 goals a game?

      • partsman193509 - May 1, 2014 at 7:47 AM

        What makes you think he is going to score 5 goals a game? When was the last time he did that? Once in his whole career, he needs to wake up and skate.

  4. guitarisgood4u - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Is Buttercup doing the worm in this photo?

  5. beergold - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Tootoo has more heart than the entire Leaf organization and just might be a good role player for them at 1 mill a year!

  6. smarshall3789 - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Why would you buy out a guy who you can burry in the minors and not have the cap hit? The Mule needs to go he’s getting paid close to 4 mill a year for nothing! I said this 2 years ago he has to go! Someone with his size and hands should be dominate instead he’s a baby get him out I rather have Vanek then this fool at least you know Vanek won’t play d but score on a more consistent basis!

    • rbbbaron - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      “Why would you buy out a guy who you can burry in the minors and not have the cap hit?”
      I don’t know why. But if you’re referring to Tootoo, he has and would continue to count against the cap.

      • smarshall3789 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        He would during the off season till the beginning of the year when you send him to the minors his cap it is off the main roster! Just like Boston Savard counts for 4 million against the cap in the off season till they can put him on IR then get the cap room back

    • jeffchadwick - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      The long-term cap issues for buying out Franzen are massive. For Tootoo, not so much. It would be great to get someone to take the albatross of a Franzen contract, but from a salary cap perspective, the Tootoo buyout makes a lot more sense.

      • jeffchadwick - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        Wings owe Franzen $17.5 million according to capgeek – that would also be a lot of dead money (if a compliance buyout were used).

      • pwshrugged - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        Plus Tootoo is never going to play another game for the Wings if he’s not bought out – he simply has no role on the team.

        Franzen, meanwhile, may not be a top-line player anymore, but he can still be useful in the lineup and – if healthy – score in the 20-30 goal range. I’m not predicting a surge for Franzen going forward, just that he would make a good matchup problem for many teams if he ends up a 3rd/4th-line player, which I think is ultimately what his fate will be.

        You know, until he retires and becomes another player-turned-scout for the Wings.

    • themagicman1223 - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      Can’t play D is a bit of stretch, Vanek’s a smart player is not bad defensively. He knows how to position himself to stop the opposition’s player from making a play. Rarely do you see him out of position, I’m not saying he’s a shutdown player. But he’s no slouch on defense, combine that with his offensive flair and you got yourself a heck of a player.

  7. 19to77 - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    The fanatical dedication to veterans that defines Red Wings management is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, the players are as loyal as they come – no-one ever seriously wondered if Dats or Zetterberg or Kronwall were going to market. Of course they re-upped with the Wings. And they will, every time.

    But on the other hand, the management is overly dedicated to players who are blatantly over the hill. Cleary comes to mind. And Franzen definitely needs to be bought out. He’s visibly checked out, and yet they insist on defending him anyway simply because he’s worn the spokes a long time. That’s a very poor judgement by Holland. Say whatever you want about Tootoo’s questionable play, at least he brings heart. Shift in, shift out, he gives his all. Franzen doesn’t. He’s checked out. You have to buy out in those cases. The player will only get worse over the next SIX FREAKING YEARS that he’s signed for.

    • numbcracker2109 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Franzen has a ton of skill, but you’re right: he got that contract just for being a veteran of a championship team. Look at his stats: pretty underwhelming, more so than I realized. And he did next to nothing against Boston. And he can expect more of the same, as the eastern conference is loaded with mediocre teams that try to win every game 1-0 and focus 99% on defense, as opposed to the more skilled and offensive teams out west. He has to be a buyout.

  8. jernster21 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    If the Wings played the Avs every game, the Mule would be just fine since he kills us every time…unfortunately that isn’t the case.

  9. redgreentape - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    I think Wings would love to get rid of Franzen but, they just can’t bring themselves to hand him that much money.

  10. chibimike - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Shouldn’t we be saving that buyout for (only played in 43 games the last two seasons) Weiss?

    • pwshrugged - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      Weiss was signed after the previous lockout, so he is not buyout-eligible.

      • pwshrugged - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        Sorry, after the -most recent- lockout. That lockout being resolved in part by the clause that would give teams two compliance buyouts for contracts existing prior to that.

  11. pwshrugged - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    I remain really surprised at how much Franzen hate there is around here. Yes, he’s certainly aging and doesn’t skate as well as he used to, but his shot is still solid. Is he a top-line guy anymore? Probably not. But he’s a potential match-up nightmare for an opposing coach if he’s playing well on a 3rd/4th line, which is what I see his long-term future being.

    Franzen is the kind of veteran the front office will remain loyal to; sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes it’s not. Personally, I don’t mind. For one, a $4M/year cap hit is really not that terrible anymore, especially when you consider that Franzen could potentially still drop a 30-goal season if he stays healthy. I’m not predicting he will; just saying, the potential is still there. But even if he never does, he’s part of the old guard’s core and can be a veteran leader when the team needs one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play an important role developing the younger players – I can imagine a Franzen-Sheahan-Tatar line being quite reliable next year. But the thing is, that $4M/year… it’s not gonna stop the Wings from doing what they want over the lifetime of the contract. Yes, 5 years ago, $4M/year was a bigger cap hit. But the cap’s going up, folks, and it just isn’t that bad anymore.

    As for Tootoo, the poor guy needs to be freed. Coming here was a terrible move for the Wings and for Tootoo, and it’s a shame to see him rotting in Grand Rapids. The guy has a ton of heart, and I really hope he catches on somewhere else in the league.

  12. dtownbeatdown - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    Damn that is too bad. Tootoo is a competitor and always puts full effort into any game I’ve seen him play. He reminds me of Darren McCarty but probably with a little more skill. If tootoo was around in the 90s he would of been an everyday player. Things change though. I hope someone picks him up, he deserves to be able to play some where. It is hard to see a guy with so much heart in the game not get to play.

  13. eduncan8888 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    A) I think its great to see how much love Detroit fans have for tootoo even if they also know things will never work out for either party together, it just goes to show what kind of hockey fans the wings have (in case hearing “you got Kronwalled” chanted at the Joe didnt already settle that for you) B) The wings have made it pretty clear by this point that no Swede is ever going to leave the red wings organization in any other way but on thier own terms. If you’re looking for examples think cleary or holmer, both were signed a year past when they should have walked away and rode the bench their last year here (or sammy who has managed to do it for 3 years). Im not sure if its a team morale thing, a mentoring thing or just the team wanting to keep the swede pipeline of talent coming to detroit but its pretty clear this is happening.

    • eduncan8888 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:46 PM

      Which is bad news for all of you big E haters out there!

  14. cliffatola - Apr 30, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    The Wings have Legwand @ 4.5m , Alfredsson @ 3.5m, Samuelsson @ 3.0m, Bertuzzi @ 2.075m, Cleary @ 1.75m, Quincey @ 3.775m and Gustavsson @ 1.5m all being UFA this summer. I don’t think they will attempt to resign Cleary, Bertuzzi, Samuelsson, Gustavsson and possible Quincey. That is about 12m in cap space right there, if you add in Tootoo there is plenty of money there to take a serious run at both Niskanen and Vanek or even Moulson. I suspect that they are also going to offer Tootoo a buyout out of respect for the way he has handled his season most guys with that many years in the league would have refused the demotion although a few years ago the Leafs were paying Jeff Finger 3m to ride the bus with the Marlies so who knows but it will give him a chance to find a place to play the last few years of his career. This is all just a guess though.

  15. hockeydon10 - Apr 30, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    I really don’t get the Franzen hate even a little bit.

    People react like he was this monster offensive juggernaut or that his numbers have fallen off dramatically. He is and has always been very streaky. That’s one of the reasons his contract is only 3.95 cap hit per year instead of something like the 6 million a point-per-game player like Zetterberg gets.

    Since getting his new contract his PPG numbers have stayed pretty consistent; .778, .723, .727, .756, .759.

    Yes, 08-09 was a better year for him (.831). Yes that looked like a continuation from the cup winning year. However, that was the outlier year, and not even by that much.

    The other thing to consider is how he stacks up against other players with the 20 closes cap hit for this past season; Simmonds .73 PPG, Henrique .56, Jones .35, Briere .36, Parenteau .60, Roy .49. Going down the list the close or higher players are Pavelski at .96 (and his new contract is… 6.0 per year). After that Hudler is close, Jagr is slightly higher, Perron close, Gaborik close, Giroux higher, Oshie close. Franzen just isn’t as bad as the bandwagon critics claim.

    The argument that has merit is his durability. He always misses time with injury. The rest of the comments just aren’t supported by facts.

    • dtownbeatdown - Apr 30, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      I don’t think the argument is on how much Franzen gets paid. Nor is it that we think he sucks. He is streaky for a reason though. He is lazy on the puck, never do you see him against the boards battling. Maybe I am just speaking for myself, but when I watch him play it just seems like he could care less. We all know he has the talent or at least did have the talent to be great. That was the reason he was chosen over Hossa, less expensive but productive. Not only is his durability an issue but does he really have the heart to play anymore or is he just collecting a pay check?

      And comparing him to Giroux or Jagr is asinine at best, those players are competitors. It is not a bandwagon thing when everyone that watches him sees the same garbage game he brings to the table the past few years. He is a big body that could do damage, but like he has said many times that isn’t his style. That is weak.

      • hockeydon10 - Apr 30, 2014 at 4:05 PM

        Some guys produce points by battling along the boards, some guys produce points by doing other things. When one sees the phrases “disappeared” and “does nothing” and “paid too much for what he brings the team” it is exactly that those people think he sucks.

        I’m not convinced he has or had the talent to be great. At 34 we’ve seen the best he has to give and that was .83 PPG back years ago. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s the reason he has the cap hit he does. His talent matches his play.

        I also wasn’t comparing his play or his drive or his skill to Giroux or Jagr or Pavelski. Those guys are elite talent that Franzen is not. I was comparing his cap hit vs production to the 20 nearest cap hits to his (per capgeek). Those super-skilled players just happen to have a cap hit near his right now, for this season (with two of those getting the appropriate pay jump next year). If we drop those players from the comparison, Franzen’s production numbers come out looking even better in comparison to other guys around the same cap hit.

  16. ghouchens - Apr 30, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    How about using this process to get rid of Weiss? He is more expensive than TooToo and has about the same impact on play.

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