Strang reports that her source who is close to the situation says Niederreiter has become unhappy with how his role with the club has developed and feels he is better suited playing elsewhere. But wait there’s more.
The former first-round, fifth overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft spent over half of the 2011-12 NHL season playing with the Islanders. Niederreiter suited up for 55 games despite only being 19-years old and still eligible to return to his junior club. Clearly the Islanders management thought this kid was good enough to stick around and develop at the NHL level.
Or so one would think. Strang has heard that the Islanders were keeping him around to use his base salary to help propel the club over the salary cap minimum; a level they managed to stay at but just barely.
In those 55 games last season, Niederreiter managed just one goal, was a minu-29 and averaged just over 10 minutes of ice-time per night. Not bad for a fourth line player but not enough for a player of Niederreiter’s potential to continue to develop. Especially when you consider he was playing for the lowly Islanders last season, who could use the help in a couple of years.
Two seasons ago he appeared in 9 games for the Islanders and notched a goal and an assist while averaging over thirteen minutes per game.
This season, the Swiss native has been producing at an efficient level for the Islanders AHL affiliate, Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Through 39 games the now 20-year old has 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 points. And he never got an invite to Islanders camp.
There appears to be some bad blood between Niederreiter and Islanders GM, Garth Snow for the once sought after prospect to not get invited to camp and given a legitimate shot at cracking the big club’s roster. Furthermore, Strang’s source says that Snow was made aware of the request last week and has no intent on making a deal to please the Niederreiter camp; at least not at the moment.
As mentioned, there is another side to this story and hopefully we’ll get Snow’s version in the near future.
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