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.".
I agree with some of your points, but I see things another way on others. Let me preface this by saying that I don't like Backman's tone, and I don't think any player should try to "strong-arm" his way into the line-up by suggesting he'll go elsewhere. That being said...
Backman being the "5th best" prospect in the NHL has less to do with him, and more to do with the talent in front of him. Coming into the year, I don't even think Jensen was on anyone's radar - certainly not mine. Him being unable to get a spot on the blueline right now could have something to do with how Blashill feels about his vets - or wanting to create pairings that are to his liking. Don't quote me on this, but I think he and Sproul were being used as a pairing at one time, and it just didn't take. My point is, there may be an element of circumstance and coaching blended in here, not just Backman's individual talents.
I really don't think Fournier and Backman are the same guy. Fournier looked great in the QMJHL, but never took in the AHL, or the ECHL for that matter. As much as I dislike that he brought it up, the SEL really is a much better league. Backman played well in a men's league, not one in the CHL. It's unfortunate that Fournier didn't pan out, though... I actually liked his game.
Fact is, I do think they have one too many AHL vets on the back-end there. They could have gone without Evans and kept Nedomlel up as the extra in GR. I'm not advocating giving Backman a spot because he's whining and deserves one, but I do think he actually needs regular ice time to adjust to play in North America. Not getting in playing time here really could hurt his long-term game. As I said, I think he's going about it the wrong way, though. This should have been an internal matter.
looks like 30%
Also, seeing that Paul Maurice used to coach him in Carolina.... so he's a known commodity. That could've had something to do with it.
I saw the 30% yesterday, but didn't think to fix it on here. The Maurice connection didn't even occur to me. Makes more sense now.
I feel mixed about Nelly taking the job. First, he's a cool guy and is one of the smarter coaches out there. I watched him for years in Muskegon and Grand Rapids and have a few pictures of us after the Muskegon Fury won the UHL Colonial Cup. He's coached at all levels. But... it's Edmonton. Eakins deserved to be fired. I just hope Nelly can turn the Oilers around, but this season is lost. I know it's only interim but maybe that's a good thing for him
I've always wondered if you could track down the Guiness Book of World Records fattest man, strap some pads on him, and just literally plug up the entire net with him. Is there a rule in the NHL rule book about this? Are there weight parameters that say "If the goalie is large enough that there is no longer an opening to the net, he cannot play in the NHL?". It surely would solve our shootout issues if there was no entrance to the net at all.
If we can keep this thread respectful and on point about Howard's performance in shootouts, and his percentages indeed being among the lowest, it may continue. Let's keep it friendly, it is the holiday season after all.