So Evans' job in the AHL > Backman's job in the AHL + his potential job at the NHL level.
Perhaps I'm underestimating the importance of a plug, who's scored zero points at the AHL. It's fantastic that Blashill feels he's got more intangibles, or brings leadership to the team, or whatever... but I think it's a very short-sighted strategy. Grand Rapids is what... 10th or 11th in the West? What exactly are they winning, and how is Brennan Evans helping? How does Backman playing in his spot hinder their "success" this season?
I admit, Backman leaving is a short-sighted move on his part. As much as he's responsible for his development, management is just as responsible, if not more. He's a suck for leaving, but I truly believe this is an example of mismanagement as well. To say that the onus is on a 22 year-old kid for leaving, what he feels to be a situation that is hindering his potential, is kind of ridiculous, IMO.
Backman's playing in the SEL and likely not coming back - that's partially on him, but there's more to it in my view. This team can't or won't move Kindl, and won't sit Brennan Evans. Both contributed to this situation.
Making a big deal over nothing.
Sproul's been scratched. Jensen's been scratched. Jurco was scratched. Glendening spent part of a year in Toledo. Ton more examples if anyone cared to look for them.
Sometimes players get scratched. That's reality. It's not like it was every game, or even long stretches of games. If he couldn't handle sitting occasionally while learning a new system and adjusting to his first season in America, then he wasn't going to make it, no matter how coddled he was.
He was a longshot to ever make the Wings (much less be a player of any impact) the day he was drafted. With the guys ahead of him, probably even more of one this year despite the promise he's shown. If he never comes back it's no great loss.
The team is not, and should not be, in the business of babying every two-bit prospect we come across.