Bloomfield Hills — Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk are two crucial pieces to the success of the Red Wings.
Whether either will be available to start the season remains a cloudy issue.
Franzen suffered a concussion Jan. 6, and hasn’t played since, while Datsyuk ruptured tendons in his right ankle in April.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is “cautiously optimistic” about Franzen’s status for training camp, which starts in mid-September, and the regular season.
“Everything I hear is positive,” said Holland, who along with Franzen, participated in the Ilitch Charities Golf Outing at Oakland Hills Country Club on Monday. “I saw him before the round (Monday) and he’s in good spirits. He’s out here competing and golfing.”
Franzen, 35, has had previous concussion issues.
During last season’s playoff series against the Lightning, Franzen skated with the team and was optimistic he’d be ready to play had the Red Wings advanced. They, however, lost in the first round.
“He’s getting in better shape,” Holland said. “When a guy doesn’t have camp (skating, conditioning) from January to June, it takes a while. But he looks good.”
There’s a possibility Franzen could start the regular season on the long-term injured reserve list, which gives the Red Wings some cap relief while Franzen also gets paid his full salary ($3.95 million per year, five years).
As for Datsyuk, Holland said he will be evaluated in mid-September.
“We don’t really have a time frame (on a return),” Holland said. “But he’s doing good, he’s feeling good. I got a text from his agent Dan Milstein saying Pavel is in good spirits and feeling good.”
Datsyuk had 65 points (26 goals) in 63 games last season and played all seven playoff games, but the pain in his ankle never went away, which forced him to have surgery.
In a July interview on Swedish Public Television, Datsyuk said he likely would not be ready for the start of the season.