I hope the ride from Detroit to Grand Rapids is a scenic one, because Xavier Ouellet has been seeing it quite a lot this season. Today it was announced that Ouellet, a defenseman in the Red Wings organization was sent back down to their AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Wings re-assign Xavier Ouelllet b/c have 6 healthy D available tonight (Alexey Marchenko not in). Ouellet rejoins Griffins for playoffs.
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) April 21, 2016
Ouellet was always going to be the odd man out in this scenario, which Ouellet likely knew given his age and lack of experience in the NHL. Ouellet is having a fine year down in the AHL, where he has 29 points in 61 games. He will get his shot soon enough, but it doesn’t look like this is his time.
As the AHL playoffs begin and get in full swing, he is a key cog in a Griffins team that will have their hands full with the first place Milwaukee Admirals. He is often described as a “puck mover”, something teams need plenty of in today’s hockey climate. Will the “power play quarterback” make a difference? That remains to be seen, but with plenty of NHL-capable bodies ready to play for Detroit, it sure as heck doesn’t hurt to have him gaining great experience down in the AHL.