Thread: Stillman
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04-05-2013, 01:56 AM
2 Minute Minor
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Originally Posted by Prussian_Blue View Post
Selling the rights to the AHL franchise may have been a good business move in the short term, but in the long term, the surrender of a degree of control in the development of prospects is going to bite the Blues in the @$$.

The example I use in tomorrow night's "Game Time" is this:
  • Assume the Blues affiliate with the Chicago Wolves for next season.
  • The Wolves, normally a pretty active club in pursuit of AHL-level veterans, go out and sign Defenseman "X" for next year.
  • The Wolves decide that Defenseman "X" gives them a better chance to win and put butts in the seats at Allstate Arena than, say, rookie Jani Hakanpää, whom the Blues would like to develop.
  • The Wolves make their player decisions independently of the Blues' long-term player development plans. Ergo, Defenseman "X" plays and Hakanpää eats press box food at Allstate Arena until he gets tired of it and catches the next plane out of O'Hare back to Helsinki.

That is the chief issue that I have with the Blues unloading their AHL franchise. The surrender of control over ice time and, subsequently, player development.
I share your concern, although it occurs to me that being able to fight his way onto the line-up may be a valuable experience or "developmental" event for a young player, too. And frankly, if a guy is going to succeed in the NHL he needs to be able to force his way onto the ice in the AHL. The Blues just need to be careful they don't send guys to the AHL that still need seasoning.

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