The Chicago Wolves were eliminated in overtime of game 7 of their series with the Texas Stars last night. The few highlights I've seen make it look like this was a very exciting series.
However, I was surprised to see that the overtime, series clinching goal was scored by Jamie Benn. Why was I surprised by this? Because this is the AHL playoffs and Jamie Benn played 82 games in the NHL this season.
Yes, the guy is a rookie so I can understand Joe Nieuwendyk wanting him to get playoff experience. However, a guy who has played a full NHL season should not be eligible to play in the AHL playoffs in that same season.
This is different from the Capitals reassigning Alzner and Carlson to Hershey once they were eliminated from the NHL playoffs. Those players spent the majority of the regular season in the AHL. Benn didn't play a single game in Austin before the playoffs.
Would folks in the Stars organization be thrilled to see Evander Kane and Nic Bergfors suiting up for the Wolves in the playoffs? How about Ondrej? Hey, Rich Peverley played some AHL games two years ago, why not send him down to ensure a Calder Cup?
Sending NHL regulars to play in the AHL playoffs makes for an un-even playing field and shouldn't be allowed.
To the Wolves players, I say congratulations on a great playoff run. Take a short break then hit the gym hard and come on down to Atlanta for training camp so you can fight for a spot on the Thrashers roster next season. Just keep your head up while Cormier is on the ice.
EDIT- Here are the highlights of game 7. Two good goals by Spencer Machacek and a beautiful backhander by Jason Krog. Unfortunately, Machacek is also the one who had the puck taken from him by Benn for the overtime goal. Notice how quick the Chicago announcers were to point out that Benn "spent the entire season in the NHL."