There is a tough decision looming ahead for the Detroit Red Wings and if I were a betting man I would put my money on things not working out the way both fans and the organization itself would have hoped.
One of the big stories coming into the 2018 - 2019 National Hockey League regular season for the Detroit Red Wings was the play, and perhaps more specifically the development, of rookie center Michael Rasmussen. The 19 year old understandably had a ton of hype surrounding him given the fact that he is Detroit's 1st round (9th overall) draft selection from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and with him coming off another solid season with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League there was a lot of excitement regarding his entrance into the NHL.
Unfortunately for the Red Wings the former top 10 pick in the draft has largely failed to live up to expectations thus far at the NHL level and although the big power forward clearly has the size and strength to play and the NHL level some of his other physical tools have seemingly been a bit exposed thus far into the season. At 6'6 and 221lbs Rasmussen has the size to be a real force for the Red Wings offensively but the speed of the game at the NHL level has been a sore spot for him through his first 7 games of the regular season and it's clear that he is going to need some time to adjust to that speed.
Now you may think that this is simply a matter of sending the first round pick down to the minors for an extra year of seasoning but because of Rasmussen's current status it's not so easy a decision for the Red Wings to make. You see Rasmussen, according to Red Wings insider Ansar Khan, still has one more year of junior eligibility which means that the Red Wings are unable to send him down to the American Hockey League where he would join the Wings' AHL affiliate the Grand Rapids Griffins. This would likely have been an ideal scenario for the Wings but instead they would be forced to send him back down to the WHL and there are understandably doubts about how much that would really improve his development.
Through his first 7 games of the regular season Rasmussen has not recorded a single goal and has recorded just a single assist which is obviously not a good sign. Additionally the Red Wings now only have 2 more games to look at him at the NHL level before they would be burning a year on his entry level contract and if they do not feel he is ready to be a full time NHLer there is a 0% chance that they will do so. That being said though Rasmussen does boast a plus minus rating of 0 on the season which indicates that he has not been too much of a liability for the Wings when out on the ice.
Only time will tell what the Wings end up doing here but it's going to be a tough choice either way.