Wild prospect Marco Rossi is trusting the process as best he can, even if it hasn’t been the easiest thing for him.
As a healthy scratch the past couple of games, there’s no doubt Rossi would much rather be on the ice with his teammates. That said, he understands there are some benefits to sitting up in the press box to clear his head.
“Sometimes you have too much pressure, so when you sit out you have a different point of view on the game,” Rossi said. “The important thing is my head is free.”
It’s clear the past couple of weeks have started to weigh on Rossi as he has struggled to produce on a consistent basis. As solid as he’s been defensively, his offense has been basically nonexistent through 16 games, with not a single goal to his name. He admitted his current slump is uncharted territory for him.
It raises the question: Would a trip to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League be good for Rossi? It’s something general manager Bill Guerin and coach Dean Evason have chatted about over the past week.
“We’re discussing different options for Marco,” Guerin said. “Just because he’s missed the last couple of games doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. That doesn’t mean we’re kicking him to the curb or anything like that. It’s part of being a young player in this league.”
There are a couple of options for the Wild when it comes to Rossi’s development.
Option 1: They can keep him up in the NHL and let him continue to take his lumps.
Option 2: They can send him down to the AHL to gain some confidence.
There are pros and cons to whatever the Wild choose to do.
Asked about Option 1, Guerin replied, “When you’re 20 years old, and you’re grinding in the NHL, it’s only going to help you down the road. The older players have been through it. They’ve done it. There’s some pain involved in being a young player in the best league in the world.”
For Option 2, Guerin replied, When you go down, you play in situations that you’re not getting up top and you actually get to handle the puck and play with it and you feel good about yourself. Then you go back up and you have to try to carry that.”
It’s still unclear what the Wild plan to do with Rossi.
In the meantime, Rossi has been leaning on his teammates for support, as well as former NHL star Thomas Vanek, who has become a mentor of sorts.
“They were where I am right now, so they know how to handle these things,” Rossi said. “They know how it is. It’s not a really easy spot. It’s just important to stay patient.”
As far as his teammates are concerned, Rossi has been handling himself like a true professional.
“He’s got all the skill in the world and all the vision in the world and all the talent in the world, too. It’s just a matter of time,” center Freddy Gaudreau said. “He’s doing it the right way. Let’s say the stats are not working as much as he would like. He’s not getting negative or turning the switch off. I believe in that mentality a ton, and I know good things happen to people that stick to a good process and stay positive.”
All part of trusting the process.
“Even if it’s not really easy sometimes, it’s a process I have to go through,” Rossi said. “It’s important to continue to stay patient and just keep working.”