Nelson Santovenia once asked to be sent down to AA, after finding out he was ticketed to be the backup catcher in AAA. Why on earth would he do that? Why would anyone WANT to be demoted to the hinterland?
Lets face it, this season is totally about development. Wins and losses in the AHL might be important at some level, but if the Edmonton Oilers had a choice between 5 more wins and a useful 2-way winger for their NHL future there’s no question about what they would hold dear.
I wonder if it might be an idea to send Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton and Ryan Martindale to Stockton. Callup Cornet and Rajala and Eric Hunter, and let these 2nd rounders get some powerplay time and big minutes in the hopes some confidence and success follows. I know they aren’t 18 years old anymore, but with all the talent in OKC that wouldn’t ordinarily be there, might this be a reasonable solution?
It’s worth talking about, surely.
Now. Santovenia. He had an incredibly slow bat, but he did in fact play well enough at double-A to get noticed and then moved past the leather brigade (Expos led the universe in all glove, no hit catchers during this period–Wil Tejada literally didn’t need a bat!) and have a small career.
Is two seasons in the NHL worth the humiliation of playing every night in the ECHL instead of riding pine in OKC? I think it might be.