Malik over at Snapshots is busy trying to decipher a two-part conversation between Niklas Kronwall Marie Hallman on her Swedish blog Hockey!
In one part that George already translated, Kronwall admits that the knee injury he suffered at the hands of then Montreal Canadian Georges Laroque is still a problem...
Do you think you'll need surgery now?
"I don't know, the knee's still not feeling quite 100% yet. I can keep going this way and there are some things that are more problematic than others. My knees feel a lot better than they were during the past spring, but they're still not as good as I think they should be."
How are they hindering you?
"I don't have strength in certain situations, where I'm still [feeling pain]. We'll see how it it goes. There's a risk that I could go over [to Detroit] a bit earlier than usual. It's for the best to go through the situation with the doctors and the organization over there."
Who decides if there's an operation?
It's a joint decision. We have the same interest that I can play at a reasonably high level."
How long would you be out if there's an operation?
"I don't have an idea, but it would involve, for the most part, going in with a camera and looking how it looks, and having an MRI. It's not an unusual occurrence. And there are people who have it significantly worse [than I do]. I just have to listen to my body and then do what I can. Hopefully it'll loosen up in the next week or two."
So there's your first significant bit of bad news this off-season...and I'm sorry to bring it to you. If Kronwall indeed needs surgery, it's unavoidable that he'll miss some significant time withthe Red Wings - whether it's this year or even if he waits until the beginning of next year's off-season. If he waits, there's also the chance of making it worse should he aggrivate more while playing on it now.
Franzen had his surgery at the beginning of last season, and made a freakishly fast comeback. We can't expect that kind of fast recovery period from everyone. Kronwall's injury woes have plagued him his entire career. In fact, in his 6 seasons with Detroit, there has been only one in which he played in 80 games. Incidentally, he finished 11th overall amongst all defensemen in the NHL in points that season.