You Scare Johan, So Leave Him Alone

Here’s a little bit from a Free Press article written by Steve Schrader after he Aftonbladet’s Mats Wennerholm winged wheelspoke with Johan Franzen.  It appears that aside from a surgically repaired knee, the Mule has a small disorder that he’s been fighting prior to ever playing a game in the NHL; social anxiety.  There was a time, even in his homeland of Sweden, where Franzen says the only place he felt safe was out on the ice.

 I’ve always been shy and the first season here, I was almost afraid to score.  Then I knew I would be interviewed afterward. It was almost as if I shot at the post instead, but only almost. But it was never so, I went and chased the goal if we led the game. I don’t now, either.”

This might help explain his quiet first few years with the Red Wings.  Franzen had 22 goals combined his first two years on the team.  He has netted 61 goals (not including the play-offs) in the two seasons since.  It’s hard to imagine that the 6’3, 220+lbs Mule was suffering from such extreme social anxiety.  And if he had to give a speech?  Forget it about it.

“I would simply pay someone else on the team from my own pocket.  I simply can’t do it.”

He has indeed given a few interviews, but it isn’t exactly something he enjoys doing, so give him a break.

“But it’s still the case that I prefer to slip out of the locker room before reporters allowed into the locker room.”

So the Free Press Aftonbladet held an interview with the guy to talk about how he doesn’t like doing interviews?  Way to stay classy, Schrader Mats Wennerholm.