Well, I specifically said defensemen. Not forwards or goalies. And I think he is a little too patient sometimes.
gotta disagree with this one. Holland is very patient with the development of prospects.
it might be too patient sometimes, but if you look at the case of Kronwall, Howard or Abdelkader - there is logic in what Kenny does.
I'm certainly not saying he's awful at it, but their track record with defensive prospects isn't as strong as with other players. There's the whole Quincey debacle. Their fascination with Meech. Keeping Lebda around longer than they should've. Kindl is our highest defensive draft pick but it remains to be seen if he can work his way up from the bottom pairing. (He hasn't even played a full season in the NHL so he certainly still has time). Overhyping/overpaying of Ericsson. Smith has looked great for a rookie but they're likely going to have him play another season against inferior competition in the AHL. At the AHL level he'll play more minutes but it won't teach him how to adjust his offensive and defensive game for the speed of NHL.
I know prospects are always a crapshoot. The Wings do a tremendous job in general. I just don't think they've done as well with their defenseman.
In particular with Lidstrom potentially retiring at the end of the season, having a promising prospect like Smith play alongside him as much as possible seems worth the rookie mistakes.