As KH is going to qualify him, I really think this is the best outcome for the wings. If we had signed him, he would have got picked up off waivers for some bottom feeder with an imbalanced roster, while earning league minimum, and bouncing between the NHL and AHL while learning the ropes. This way he gets to earn good money and be guaranteed high level games, and we get to keep his rights rather than losing him for nothing.
The staff all seem to agree that he was ready skill-wise and smarts-wise, but not physically. So this way they get to keep an eye on him while he develops, and if he ever manages to put on the extra 20-25 lbs that would make him big enough to play in the NHL for one not so tall or quick, we get first dobs. Indeed that way things were spoken of by AA and the wings brass suggests that this is an outcome that suits both parties and that both aniticipated and to a degree planned for.
He really is an incredibly smart player, but was so small when he started that he is still too small with his limited size increase..this was shown in the AHL playoffs where 2 years in a row he got injured (although both hits were very late and dirty as hell and should have led to suspensions). If you are a go to puck mover you have to be able to take the inevitable punishment aimed at you better than he currently can. If he gets to 26 and weighs 195, it would be great to bring him back, as a PP QB he is undoubtedly better than anyone on the big club not called Kronwall and any of the prospects bar Sproul. He didn't look out of place at NHL level, but his small frame meant they had to keep him sheltered, and more so than was reasonable long term. I, like many others, feel that if you are going to shelter Kindl's lack of intensity and Lashoff's lack of ability, then perhaps it was worth giving AA more games to see how he would cope, but then this is expecting too much from a coach that won't play Smith on the powerplay, thinks that Abledakder is a viable top line option rather than an effective occasional plug in, and seems determined to not keep or re-unite effective lines. (I still can't get over putting legwand on the 4th line when the two players he had chemistry with, Nyquist and Franzen, were struggling).
It doesn't indicate that, "get an opportunity to play" indicates that some players especially younger guys would prefer to play in the KHL then in the minors. But your right most guys that have tasted the NHL don't leave unless they are forced to ( take the hint: Cleary), but now and again you do see some younger players go play in Russia or threaten to go back to Sweden. Doesn't mean they are not good enough to play in the NHL, players like to use the KHL as leverage, but sometimes I think they're bluff gets called and at that particular moment some of them prefer to go overseas for a couple years. They can make more than in the minors and can come back at any time. Taking out the fact that Radulov is Russian, the guy is getting paid something like 9 mil to play in the KHL, I too doubt that his childhood dream was to play in Russia, but he's not approaching 9 mil at the NHL level, so why not.
I'm not sticking up for Franzen by any means. I'd like to see him replaced. But until there is someone to replace him, we kind of need him. For depth. Also, he isn't solely here to put the puck in the net. He is also here to be responsible defensively. Outside of that unfortunate turnover, he has been. If Franzen was getting paid to be a danger to put the puck in every single night, he would be making more money than he is now. That I can guarantee you.
This is pretty much exactly what I got taken apart for saying in the other thread, but with slightly more positivity. No point paying a guy 20m to go away when he can still contribute to some degree and we have no one ready to replace him yet. . His cap hit is representative of the player he is, and to date has been pretty good value. Franzen in beast mode all the time would be a 6-7m player, no problem.
Franzen was the only player on the team I saw put Lucic on his backside, he led all forwards in blocked shots, he had twice as many takeaways than giveaways and set up all kinds of scoring chances that didn't get buried.
There was bad too, he took a lot of bad shots, the turnover's he had ended up in our net and he couldn't bury any of the chances he had, but he wasn't close to the worst forward for the Wings during that series.
Ah yes....factual information! How dare some one use statistical analysis to counter gut feeling, emotional reactions and fan logic of visible effort = more contribution. People have even wanted Tootoo ahead of him because he hits and fights....and does almost nothing else. Sure, a skilled guy who works his ass off is better than one that doesn't, but a skilled guy with variable effort levels is often better than a no-skill guy that tries as hard as he can......
This. A Warrior through, and through.
Despite my earlier comment, I really wanted Tootoo to succeed here, but ultimately he's not good enough for a team aspiring to play any sort of possession game, either skill wise or tactically. His signing made a lot of sense, but it didn't work for either party, and if his time in Grand Rapids shows us anything, he really needs a change of scenery asap.
Anyone seeing the standard of the officiating in this series. If I thought the NHL refs were poor, the AHL is a joke. Seen Abbotsford get away with boarding, checks from behind, spearing, cross checking, but no calls from the refs. On the back of Almquist getting injured from a disgraceful boarding hit no-where near the puck earlier in the series.
Also the griffs aren't really pushing as much as they need to, but have totally outshot the heat, and are losing game 4 after falling 2-1 in game three.