The New York Islanders have traded defenseman Jyri Niemi to the New York Rangers in exchange for a sixth round draft pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Niemi, a native of Hameenkyro, Finland, was drafted by the Islanders in the third round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The 6'2, 192 pound defenseman spent the last three seasons with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL.
This is interesting. Niemi [stats at HockeyDB] was as good as gone -- after his Saskatoon season ended, it even sounded like he might be playing in Europe -- so now Garth Snow has gotten a small asset for him, though the drawback is he's signed a deal with the Short Island Smurfs. In the annals of unholy dealings, the Islanders haven't traded with the Rangers since 1972, though plenty of players by this point have played for both teams, even in consecutive seasons. (That trade was for Ron Stewart, whom my dad -- who got me into this mess -- would remind me played briefly with Al Arbour on the Blues.)
So to update: Of the six picks the Islanders collected for rounds 2-3 in the 2008 draft, this now puts the ledger at: Corey Trivino (#36 overall, still in college, BU, but hitting hurdles), Aaron Ness (#40, still in college, Minnesota), Travis Hamonic (#53, gonna be a player very soon), David Toews (#66, hoping to leave college for juniors), Jyri Niemi (#72, dealt for a 6th), and Kiril Petrov (#73, should be here for prospect camp, though he's still KHL property). Which shows you never know with the draft, even in round 2.
Rangers fans obviously see this as a low-risk move, while for the Islanders, they'd made their decision on Niemi (or is it that Niemi made his decision on them?), so at least they get one more chip for him, however small. Personally, I don't relish even the remote chance that Niemi turns into a player who can haunt us, but that thought won't keep me up at night. In any case, I'll be checking out Blueshirt Banter for their reaction, to see if they feel as dirty as I do.