Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter is set to be a healthy scratch again today making it four games in a row the 19 year-old rookie has gotten to hang out in the press box. Benching a kid that young without an injury being given as the reason starts to arouse suspicion as to what’s going on.
Katie Strang of ESPN New York digs in wondering if perhaps Niederreiter is destined to be sent back to junior hockey. After all, Niederreiter has only played in three games this year so he’s still eligible to go back, but Isles GM Garth Snow says he’s not going back.
Some think that something else is afoot here, however. Kevin Schultz of Islanders Point Break thinks that something else a bit bigger is going on with Nino. Schultz says that there’s no good reason for making Niederreiter a healthy scratch unless there’s something else going on behind the scenes. Meanwhile, the New York Times’ Chris Botta tweets that Niederreiter’s benching could just be part of a cost-cutting move for the Isles.
One thing’s for sure, Niederreiter is part of the Islanders’ future one way or another and keeping a talented kid on the bench while the team stinks out loud on the ice and can’t score doesn’t make much sense. If he’s hurt again (he spent a month on the shelf with a groin injury) the Isles should say so. If there’s something else going on here though, leaving everyone to speculate does more harm than good.