Can you give me one example of a player who was ruined by leaving him in the minors?
of course he can't because it's all speculation. and I'm not saying that to better your point. i'm saying that to better his (first time for everything maybe). if you're stuck in the minors, it almost always means that someone doesn't value you as much as another player. the issue is that it can be wrong. if the nhl decision makers (read GMs) say you're not good enough, then whether you are or not is irrelevant.
larsson CLEARLY showed he could not only play, but had enough tools and flashes that it would be more likely than not a better than average NHLer. lets say, for arguments sake, that lou brings back the same defensemen next year which absolutely has a non-zero chance of happening. hell, he essentially did it this year other than tallinder. larsson's gotta battle it out again and being just solid won't be enough because you could argue he's exactly the same as merrill and the north american kid almost always wins that matchup.
meanwhile hedman is on year 5 with a similar pedigree and is one of the better defensemen in the league.
"This team was never the same once we lost Patrik Sundstrom"- Lou Lamoriello
“They’re the ones that makes it happen,” Lemaire said. “It’s not us. It’s not me. It’s not the other guy. It’s not the guy before. It’s not the guy after. It’s them. And they have to take care of business.”
"I guess I just miss my friend" (#28)