The Malik Report
by Paul on 10/25/12 at 09:58 AM ET
via Craig Custance of ESPN (must be an ESPN Insider to read on),
There's no doubt seasoning in the American Hockey League is crucial to the growth of most young hockey players. When citing the virtues of the league, scouts and team executives often say the same thing: They've seen players hurt because they were rushed to the NHL but never because they spent too much time in the AHL.
You can't help but wonder if Brendan Smith is pushing the limits of that theory....
This was the year we'd find out if the former Wisconsin star was ready to make that next step as an important NHL contributor. Then the lockout hit. And with the way talks are dragging, it could be another year in the AHL for the Toronto native.
Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill doesn't believe there's such a thing as too much AHL development.
"I don't think you can ever be that way," he said during a phone conversation earlier this week. "The American League is even better this year. Right now, it's the best league in the world. The competition is there. In light of the situation, he's playing. He could be one of those other people who is sitting out."
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.