herb wrote:In Chicago it seemed like the Wolves lack of interest in playing our young guys affected at least partly the development of guys like Schroeder, Kassian, Archibald and Mallet who were given limited roles or bumped down to the ECHL. In Utica, the shitty team I'm sure has made things harder for our prospects.
Hopefully next year, with the likely additions of Fox and Gaunce, as well as continued improvement in net from Ericsson and Cannata, the team can be more competitive. Maybe we should hope for an early exit by the Erie Otters so these guys can get to Utica this season!
I would take a development team that frequently lost over a minor pro team that consistently won any day of the week. I would argue that the day-to-day challenges are a tad harder for them in Utica but I think the hard lessons learned with the ice time will serve them better in the pros. The real challenge is for them to maintain and build their confidence - which is a saw-off between either case whether you're winning but barely playing or losing but playing a ton. Oklahoma kicked some ass during the lockout with the kids down there, but where's Edmonton now?
Getting more prospects onto the farm (Fox, Gaunce and the college kids) can only help even if only to foster some competition for call-ups and give a better gauge on who's growing on the farm regardless of the score. Times like these I wish we could get some of these overagers into the 'A' already.