It has been a difficult journey for former first round draft pick Sven Baertschi of the Vancouver Canucks and it now sounds like the 27 year old forward is going to begin taking some matters into his own hands. In a recent interview the Canucks forward made some rather strong statements, statements that made it clear that Baertschi would no longer be happy serving as a borderline National Hockey League level player for the Vancouver Canucks.
Baertschi, who was selected 13th overall by the Calgary Flames at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, was once viewed as a very promising prospect but criticisms of his hockey IQ as well as injuries have resulted in him never truly realizing those expectations. Instead the veteran forward has most recently spent the overwhelming majority of his time in the American Hockey League, a place that Baertschi openly admits he feels he does not belong.
"There were some moments in the AHL when I thought there are some darn good players - like really, really skilled players. Sometimes I looked at it as the best players aren’t always in the NHL. There are definitely some players in the AHL that don’t belong there. For me, it was more confirmation that I don’t belong there in many ways," admitted Baertschi as per TSN. "I don’t want to be rude or look down on people, but the way I look at the game is a lot different than a lot of other guys. As soon as I was put on waivers and sent down, for me personally it was about confirming to myself that I was 100 per cent healthy."
What has to be the most frustrating part for Baertschi in all of this however has to be the fact that he believes the Canucks never planned to use him as a part of their main roster this season, this even prior to his return from a concussion.
"I don’t think Vancouver expected me to come back and play," Baertschi explained. "That’s my personal opinion. Certain things sink in after a year."
Baertschi stopped short of asking for a trade, although there were reports back in December that his camped had formerly requested a trade, but made it clear that he would not be satisfied playing in the minors for another season.
"I don’t want to be back in the minors. That’s where I’ve set my goal at. It’s up to them really what they’re going to do next. That’s their job and that’s what they do."