I think the Endicott situation is read into a little bit too much. Don't get me wrong, I don't think he's NHL-calibre, and I certainly would prefer that he not be on the team. But there are a couple things at work here. For one thing, the team is in need of centers. When you've got wingers (Recchi, Malone, and now Rita) regularly playing center, there's a problem. Endicott is one of the few "natural" centers on the big club right now.
Another factor is that he DID show promise in the AHL. There's a reason he was pencilled into the lineup before the season began. They thought he could be a good third liner, shutdown center. Of course, he's been far from it, but with the season being over for quite a while now and his injury, they've been more patient than the most of us would have been.
The obvious question is why not Christensen/Talbot instead of Endicott? My only answer for that is maybe the team feels they benefit more from being the top dogs on the AHL team than being third or fourth liners on the NHL club. When you look at the guys who have come up from the AHL this season, the ones that have stuck mostly are guys who spent significant time in the minors: Armstrong, Ouellet, Surovy, Scuderi, and Endicott certainly fit that bill. Fleury and Whitney are the only exceptions having spent just one full season and a little bit of this year in the minors. But they're a little bit different cases, as they were dominating, and they also fill positions in which the team is particularly weak. I don't think it should be any surprise that Christensen and Talbot are spending more time in the minors when they didn't have a whole lot of success there prior to this season. Same goes for the young defensemen down there who need the experience.
The way things have gone, I'm pretty confident we're not going to see Endicott on the team next season, and I'm also confident that Christensen and Talbot will be up from the start. I DON'T think he's here only because they're afraid of losing him on waivers or they really think he's good. It's not like he's the only guy on the team who doesn't really belong in the NHL...