NHL Rumors: What’s to Become of Nino Niederreiter?

By Krista Golden
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Nino Niederreiter wants a trade from the New York Islanders. Who can blame him? He’s worked his butt off with their AHL team this season and was snubbed for training camp. Niederreiter feels he’s wasting his time with the Islanders.

Take this into consideration: last season, he spent more than half his time with the Islanders, only playing six games total with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He did poorly, ending the season with only one goal in 55 games. This season, he’s been playing with the Sound Tigers and leading the team in points with 19 goals and 36 points in 39 games. The organization says he wasn’t invited to training camp because of that poor performance, and they want him to develop his skills better before really coming to the big time.

Excuse me, but that’s hogwash. Niederreiter was given mediocre ice time last season – he had an average 10 minutes per game with a little as 11 seconds in one game alone. Given the atmosphere in which he’d played, you can be sure that he’d flounder. Away from the Islanders, he’s been on fire, but not because he needed development. Given the right line and mentors on the team, he could’ve been better. The organization just can’t see the forest for the trees.

Islanders general manager Garth Snow said that Niederreiter hasn’t come to him personally with his request, and Chris Botta tweeted that Niederreiter needs to “grow up” because of his beef with the team. But if the Islanders are going to keep him, they need to realize that it’s not Niederreiter but the rest of the team that needs development. Otherwise, they’re squandering true talent and should send him to a team that could really use him.

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