I mean Merrill can play ten games as an injury callup to get his feet wet, I just don't want him as a regular. You're too wrapped up in who the #8 defenseman is, odds are if you're at a point where the #8 defenseman is playing over half the games you're in trouble regardless. This isn't NHL14, you can't hoard NHL defensemen in the minors or in the scratch box indefinitely for a rainy day when they need wins now and the best people need to play and the young defensemen need to develop.
Your position here is utterly contradictory. You say 'You can't hoard NHL defensemen in the minors' and then you say 'I want Merrill in the AHL indefinitely' and bemoan the Devils' tendency of 'rushing prospects'. It doesn't add up, unless you have a constant stream of NHL players coming out of your AHL system.
I'm not too wrapped up in who the 8th defenseman is, I want my team to be good even if it suffers injuries, and the #8 defenseman plays, period. He plays a lot of games for most teams - at least 30 games. I'd rather have someone who can play than who cannot play. Past Merrill, NJ only has 4 D even signed to NHL contracts (Burlon, Helgeson, Scarlett, Hraberenka), two of whom are clearly not ready for NHL action.
As for 2010-11, you're forgetting Fayne, who was #10 on the depth chart but got up here, played very well, and was never sent back to the minors. There was also Salmela who was hurt all season up until December. Generally that's not what happens though, generally you get guys who are awful, and so your top guys have to play 25-26 minutes a game.
Edited by Triumph, 29 October 2013 - 10:09 AM.