With Nino Niederreiter still in the minors and not getting an invite to the Islanders' shortened six-day training camp, his agent has asked the team for a trade, a league source confirmed.
The trade request, first reported by ESPN.com, came early last week in an email, right around the time the Islanders made call-ups from their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport in order to fill out the roster.
Niederreiter's agent apparently was displeased his client was not part of that group, despite the fact Niederreiter played 55 games with the Islanders last season, and this season is leading the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the team's AHL affiliate, in scoring.
"Any conversations I have with players, that remains between us," Islanders' general manager Garth Snow said last night.
Snow said there was no intention of trying to trade left winger Niederreiter, 20, who has 19 goals and 36 points in 39 games, making the AHL All-Star team. Last season's decision to have him play in the NHL — where he often got lost on a fourth line and registered just one goal and no assists — was more a byproduct of his youth.
At 19, Niederreiter couldn't play in the AHL. So if he wasn't with the Islanders, he would have to be sent back to his junior team in the WHL. Snow went on record at the time saying he would prefer Niederreiter to develop in Bridgeport rather than at the NHL level, but still today has no regrets in making the decision he did.
"I know people will have their own opinions about last year," Snow said, one of which is that Niederreiter's $2.795 million hit helped them get to the salary cap floor. "He probably wouldn't be having the success he's having this year without his experience here last year."
Snow also said there is no ruling out the chance the team recalls Niederreiter at some point.
"In a shortened season like this one, anything can happen," Snow said. "He's definitely a player in our daily conversations for who can help us now."
Niederreiter wants Islanders to trade him
New York Post | Jan 23