I missed the part where the hockey world redefined the Detroit "model" as you have - where it became known simply as being a Grand Rapids 'development factory'. You are grasping here.
Their "model" has been far more associated with the success of their late round drafting and their scouting.
I have never heard the Detroit "model" referred to in such a reductive way as you are describing it - it's borderline strawman - a "model" is more complicated than one aspect. It has not simply been decades of luck.
I think you're simply trying too hard - and collapsing their "model" into your perception of player (specifically AHL) development isn't really debunking any myths - you're creating a myth that that is what their "model" is perceived to be. Yes, part of that model is to resist unseating young players and pulling them overseas into the AHL prematurely. Trusting that they will develop in European leagues is not a failure or lack of wisdom where player development is concerned. In addition, player development continues once those players are brought into the mix on their AHL and NHL team, and anyone who doubts Bowman (Lewis) and Babcock's ability to develop players...(might need to rethink). Another aspect of their "model" - don't rush your prospects in prematurely. Patience and a strong veteran presence are obviously also significant aspects of their "model".
If you'd named their model what it is there might be less resistance to this oversimplification.
The KIngs are a better example with 3 of their top 4 scorers being acquired in trades and half their blueline (the backbone half) - Mitchell, Greene and Regehr - none of whom are LA draft picks?
I don't know what part of 21 straight playoff appearances with one pick in the top 20 since 1991 you find to be so vulnerable to debunking, but I'm not convinced. I also wouldn't be so quick to write their season off - were you one of those who made this claim at midpoint last year? For me this is a rethread and it isn't gaining credibility. Yes there will come a point at which the Detroit Redwings actually miss the playoffs. That will not however be evidence of any myths being debunked - it's simply a law of averages that they may not be able to defy forever - but I wouldn't start betting on it quite yet.
Here, for the first time in years, Detroit has relied heavily on its young players. And they are struggling by Detroit standards.
I was pretty clear in my OP that scouting (and recruiting as alluded later) had landed good young players. In fact star players.
I always was questioning the common myth that Detroit develops so many of those / it's players. Look at Ghosts reply on post 23;
Players rarely dive into the team without playing 1-2 seasons in the minors.
That is simply not true. Of all their key drafted players (Datsyuk, Kronwall, Datsyuk, Franzen, Howard and Zetterberg), one (Howard) has played and developed through their system. ONE. Historically that has also been true. Fedorov, Yzerman, Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Kozlov all never played a day for their minor affiliate.
But how many times do we hear CDC exhort that we should keep our guys in the minors, to do it the Detroit way? Not that we should bring guys up before they are ready.
To do it Detroits way we're going to have to pull a Lidstrom or Datsyuk out of the draft. And sign a Chelios, Shanahan or Larry Murphy. As they start relying on players from the farm their fortunes have started to slide.
Yes BTW, LA is a good example of developing its players. Martinez, Voynov, Clifford, King, Lewis, Brown, Nolan (he's maybe not that influential), all developed extremely nicely to become good players for the Kings. You're kidding yourself if you think Voynov is not a core guy for their D. Nowadays Jones made Scrivens expendable, Toffoli looks like a score. Muzzin is a talent, contributing and on his way. I would love him in our vault. These guys are coming up, play hard and within the system, but have also developed their talents for the roles they play. Toffoli a scorer still plays gritty, Voynov a puck moving D, King a grinder is becoming a 230 lb glue guy who can play top line. Their farm bred young guys are playing more key roles than Detroits. Manchester is a very positive influence.