Grand Rapids Griffins goalie Daniel Larsson recently chose to leave the Red Wings organization to sign a 2-year contract with HV71 Jonkoping (think Russian Traktors or Japanese Furry Bunnies).
Larsson's take? "It's not good for my development if I remain in the AHL. First, they have no goalie coach [there] and the game in the AHL isn't much fun. I've done it for two years now, and [it's the same thing]. There's more to learn than just playing games."
Larsson also disagreed with the style of play Detroit/Grand Rapids employed in the organization.
Detroit's take? They did not comment in the article so I will gladly paraphrase for them. "Daniel, good luck EVER getting another chance to play in the AHL. Your numbers were pathetic in Grand Rapids, except when you played Houston. No, your parking and airplane tickets will not be paid for and/or validated."
My take? I am no goalie expert, but I can see why a guy might not want to play for a team that wants him to do something (if his side of the story is true) that is unnatural to him. I know that if I was asked to sit on the love seat instead of the couch during baseball season, my viewing ability would go WAY down hill.
But to say that the AHL is a) not fun and b) not good for your development? That just sounds like poor excuse-making. I would LOVE to see a list of goalies that started out in North America. Sucked. Went back to Euro land. Got WAY better and then came back to have a successful NHL careers.
Again, I am just guessing here, but I bet that list is shorter than the number of times Wade Dubielewicz put the puck in his own net last year. (Sorry for the shot, Doobie, we definitely love you here at T3I!)
Sorry for the rant ... slow news day.