On Monday morning, it was announced that Minnesota Wild prospect Marco Rossi was sent down to the AHL, after being a healthy scratch for four consecutive games and not having a productive start to his NHL career.
In his first media availability since the team made the transaction official, head coach Dean Evason explained the process of sending down the young center with a high ceiling, and how Rossi is feeling at this moment.
“He’s not happy,” Evason said at practice on Tuesday. “But he understands the process, he understands what we are doing as an organization. Billy [Guerin] spoke — we all spoke with him — as what our expectations are as far as going there, and working, and what we would like to see him work on and do, in order to get back here and play for us.
“But, again, there might be a negative spin, possibly, with this. It’s not. It’s a positive situation. Billy and I spoke as ex-players, that getting sent down sucks, but we look back on it and it was good for both of us at the time and we expect for Marco Rossi, it will be good for him too, in the long run, to be an NHL regular player.”
It’s not often that you hear NHL coaches be honest about how one of their players is feeling, so it’s refreshing to hear that Evason said that Rossi was both upset but also eventually understood the process. Evason and Guerin communicate well enough to lay out a development plan for Rossi while he is in the AHL, and gives us a peek into him eventually returning to the NHL a fuller player.
Or, even if Rossi doesn’t do everything exactly right, going down a level can do wonders for his confidence if he is able to get some numbers on the board.
Rossi will get his chance to do exactly that almost immediately, as he is going to be in the lineup for Iowa’s game on Tuesday against the San Jose Barracuda. He will be playing alongside local boy Sammy Walker and Joseph Cramarossa — two players that can certainly get on the end of any scoring chance that Rossi creates.
At 21 years old, there’s no real reason to get concerned about his development. Just a slight bump in the road. There are still things that Rossi does extremely well and can just keep on trucking on.