Lets just consider it.
Nino Niederreiter had an awful season last year. Unless he tore it up in camp, I think he would find himself in the AHL this year, without a doubt. Now I wouldn't question management on it, but I would be very wary of what it could do for his development and confidence. it would surely wreck hi confidence (as if 1 goal in 49 games wasn't enough) and I dont know, the developmental affect would be questionable. Would it be better to let him grow into the NHL and grind it out becaus ehe had already been fully exposed there?
I dont know. All I know is that the lockout made a decision I would have considered tough to be a very easy one. As far as Nino sees it, he's in the AHL because there's no NHL season and the management feels he can greatly help the sound tigers. With that, we get to see our arguably top prospect go back to the AHL where he should be and see him develop there, regain his confidence, and succeed. AHL rookie of the year this year.
One more benefit is, Let's say we can start the season in mid November or so. We get a full 1 and a half months or so to see what Nino can do in the NHL. If he is tearing it up (still, off to an awesome start) then he'll have earned his spot back and shown he's actually ready. If he's inconsistent down there? No big deal if we dont call him up.