Let's say that Backman wasn't performing up to snuff in practices, and the 13 games he played in. That's fine - he wasn't doing enough to stay in the line-up on a consistent basis. My issue with the situation right now is that Evans has played in 20 games, and has contributed nothing on offense. I understand his role on the team, but Backman was essentially sitting while Evans has been racking up PIM's.
Earning it or not, I just can't understand the logic behind letting a player who could potentially contribute to your team in the future sit over an AHL veteran who's got zero points and no future in the organization.
I'm sure Backman played his role in the situation - perhaps a poor attitude, sense of entitlement, being homesick, etc., but now a player this team was pretty high on going into the season is back in Sweden, and I can't see him coming back to GR. The chances he makes the Red Wings out of camp, from the SEL are pretty much slim to none. It's a situation that could have been avoided, IMO.
So he should have earned his playing time, but he should have been given playing time even if he wasn't earning it, while Evans, who despite his lack of an NHL future who has been doing his job, should have been benched.
The bottom line is that Backman didn't do enough to prove he was good enough to play in the AHL. End of story.