Backman's pretty much behind Kindl, Lashoff, Ouellet, Marchenko, Jensen, Sproul (and probably Hicketts, if he were in the AHL right now); he's the lowest man on the totem pole. If Ouellet - who's already better than Kindl - isn't going to be a true regular on the parent club until next season (and even then, tell me you can't see him starting next season on the farm), I can undersand why Backman might be feeling a little disillusioned with The Process. Why should we care? Because he's an asset with good potential. We used a draft pick on him. We picked him, not the other way around. Do we want this to start becoming a thing? D prospects saying, "Y'know, I'd rather take my chances elsewhere"? Maybe the Blackhawks can afford to lose a number of very good prospects for nothing, but the Wings can't. I'm not saying Holland needs to panic because O NOES BACKMAN IS UNHAPPY, but he can't take the "OK, well, have fun in Europe. We don't need you anyway" approach. Lord knows UFAs aren't dying to play for the Wings, so prospects becoming disillusioned with our over-long Process is kind of the last thing we want right now.
He's also behind Kronwall, Ericsson, Dekeyser, Smith, Quincey, and apparently, Paetch and Evans.
If he's our 5th best prospect currently in the AHL, the chances of him ever sniffing the Wings are practically nil, whether he's playing every night or not. You can say he's a very good prospect, but don't gloss over that he's also apparently unable to win a regular spot in an AHL lineup at the moment.
Prospects wash out all the time. All over the league. 5th round picks do so much more often than not. I bet Gleason Fournier wasn't too happy that he sucked too much for the AHL, but he wasn't European so no one wrote a story about it. Did anyone here care? We feeling that loss? The pool of future NHL players is not going to say to themselves, "Hey, this one time, there was this one 5th round pick who couldn't win a regular AHL spot, and the Wings didn't go out of their way to make it easier for him. Those dicks, I'll never play there."
It's not about anyone being over-ripe, or our development process taking too long, or any unfair treatment. There are spots in GR besides Ouellet's. If Backman can't win one of those other 5, he should be unhappy with himself, not with the organization.
While my "why should we care" comment may have been flippant, and I'd certainly expect the organization to show more tact, I would much rather see them say, "Suck it up. Play better or have fun in Europe." than "Oh, sorry it's too hard for you, let me get one of these better players out of your way so you can play every day.".
- jimmyemeryhunter likes this