Its really odd to hear people bash AV for limiting a young player's ice time and role. Gillis has stated from the beginning that they want to develop players in lower leagues until they are over-ready for the NHL, then have them make the jump. The team has tried to do this whenever possible, but necessity has resulted in some exceptions.
This means that the mandate from above given to AV is that if a player isn't quite ready he is to have a limited role. Gillis doesn't want AV developing young guys, he wants MacT developing them. AV has played his role perfectly, he is the barrier the players must get past to get their full time NHL ticket. That is the lynchpin of Gillis' philosophy, in order to ensure a Detroit-style crop of over-ready prospects, you must have someone in the organization that the young players must prove themselves to, someone who isn't going to coddle them just because they are still developing, but rather someone who will evaluate whether they are a quality NHL player or not yet, if not, they need to be developed further outside the NHL.
This model has worked quite well for Detroit, and is very clearly MG's idea. You wouldn't see coach Babcock giving a rookie lots of ice time just to develop them, Babcock expects the young players to be ready before they get to him, rather than have them develop under him (development will continue at the NHL level, but they have to reach a certain effectiveness first). I think AV is a great coach for younger guys (look at his time in Manitoba) but under Mike Gillis he was asked to play a different role in these young player's development. He has followed the plan MG laid out, and now people blast him as though he's a bad coach.
Now whether or not we agree with MG's development strategy is another issue altogether, but AV has done nothing but follow the plan to a tee.
I think Jensen is a good example of the above points, AV seemed to love this guy, he always beamed about him in interviews. However, when the time came to decide if Jensen deserved a 9 game tryout, he was shipped back to junior no questions asked. The action the team took was in direct contrast to what AV seemed to want. We can clearly see the MG philosophy and not the AV philosophy is the one that the organization is following.
Edited by LostViking, 24 April 2012 - 08:16 AM.