Really now. - Mike Stobe
Because it's been at least a few days since our last drama. Let's air a trade request from a top prospect's agent.
From ESPN New York (and formerly of Newsday) Katie Strang:
The former first-round pick (5th overall, 2010) is unhappy with his current situation, the source said, and feels he would be best served playing somewhere other than with the Islanders organization.
UPDATE: Newsday's current Isles beat reporter Arthur Staple reports more, saying Niederreiter's Swiss agent -- who puts himself in the media in ways that would make Allan Walsh blush -- emailed the trade request to Garth Snow after Niederreiter was not included in Islanders training camp. Isles brass sat down with Nino to discuss their decision and what they saw for him in the AHL.
It is yet to be published who leaked the initial headline-grabber to Strang, but you are free to guess.
[original post continues below...]
Niederreiter had a disappointing rookie year but has rebounded during the lockout with the Islanders' AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers to lead them in scoring. That said, he still has some grooming to do. (The player selected just before him in the 2010 NHL Draft, Tampa Bay Lightning's Brett Connolly, is also spending this season in the AHL after an uneven rookie season in the NHL.)
Every once in a while you hear rumblings that Niederreiter is frustrated with this or that about his handling, but whether he realizes it or not he's a 20-year-old with raw skills and in need of some polishing. His injury- and fourth-line rattled rookie season was unfortunate for both parties, but one hopes he realizes his struggles weren't simply because of how he was used; it was also because he clearly wasn't as ready to be used as the Isles hoped and Niederreiter would prefer.
For now, the Islanders are wise to hang on and develop him into an NHLer unless some team were to wow them with an offer based on, say, his 2010 World Junior Championship performance rather than his 2011-12 season.
The motivations of whoever leaked it to media probably have more to do with getting him a promotion to the NHL sooner rather than later. Regardless of the validity of this report and the seriousness of the party(ies) that made and leaked it, it's unlikely to lead to anything right now other than more off-ice drama and behind-closed-doors discussions.
All of which is nothing new for New York Islanders fans.