Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Trouble Across the Bridge: Nino Niederreiter Unhappy, Seeks Trade


I'll take "things that came out of left field" for 100, Alex.

ESPN New York's Katie Strang is reporting this afternoon that Nino Niederreiter (Isles' fifth-overall pick in 2010) is disappointed with his current situation. Nino's agent (Andy Rufener) is requesting a trade from the Islanders, so that his client can get a fresh start. 

Personally, I think you can count the list of teams that'd put Niederreiter in their lineup on one hand.  His camp obviously has a different take on the matter. 

Now, I'm not going to say the Isles aren't completely at fault here. What transpired last season was nothing short of a disaster, and head coach Jack Capuano deserves most (if not all) of the blame for keeping Nino on the fourth line with Marty Reasoner and Jay Pandolfo, virtually from start to finish. 

Capuano didn't even use him on the power play, where he could've at least made somewhat of a difference. 

But that was last season, and this time around, the Islanders made the right call. Not to say that giving him fourth-line minutes was a good idea, but regardless, Nino Niederreiter simply was not ready for the NHL.

He always looked out of place, was never able to establish himself as a power forward, never felt comfortable playing his brand of hockey. A full year in the AHL with Bridgeport was just what the doctor ordered and I give GM Garth Snow and the coaching staff credit for reacting accordingly.

I will say that Nino's absence in training camp was surprising. 

Then again, El Nino was on a roll in the minors, racking up 36 points in 38 contests. The Isles felt that any interference might have a negative impact on his development, so being that things were going well, they maintained the status quo. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that approach.

When you consider things from Nino's perspective, I suppose it all adds up; stuck on the fourth line of a young team without a ton depth at his position, then after making waves in the AHL, he doesn't even get invited to Isles' camp when the lockout ends. 

Granted, he's taking it the wrong way. But that's how he sees it, apparently. 

My thoughts on this are of pure disgust; his actions are downright obnoxious, to say the least. 

Nino Niederreiter is a 20-year-old kid with a very bright future ahead of him. But right now, in his position and status, he needs to shut up and get back to work. 

Niederreiter comes off as a spoiled brat from Never Never Land; one who should be grateful to the organization that drafted him into the NHL but, instead, is now doing just the opposite.

The Islanders aren't holding Nino hostage or anything, and they would undoubtedly give him his shot at stardom, provided that the time is right. And so, because the time isn't yet right and he's already 20-years-of-age, his patience has run out. 

It makes total sense, doesn't it?

Had he been four of five years removed from draft day, I'd certainly understand him being frustrated. Not here though, this is just plain selfish. 

As for whether or not the Islanders will trade Nino, I don't expect them to. If the right deal presents itself, then so be it. But I don't see them forcing anything right now, nor do I think they're in any rush. 

Good for them, because they shouldn't have to be. There's no need to give special treatment to a 20-year-old kid who's more spoiled than expired milk. 


Comments are welcome. 

12 comments:

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