Nino Niederreiter

Isles send Niederreiter to AHL, Strome and Reinhart to junior


In advance of Saturday’s lockout, the New York Islanders bid adieu to their three most recent first-round picks.

Nino Niederreiter, taken 5th overall in 2010, was sent to AHL Bridgeport while Ryan Strome (5th overall, 2011) and Griffin Reinhart (4th overall, 2012) were sent to OHL Niagara and WHL Edmonton respectively.

Niederreiter, 20, played six games in Bridgeport last season after spending the majority of the season with the Isles.

He’ll be joined on the Tigers by Isles teammate Travis Hamonic, and it’s expected the pair will greatly bolster the AHL roster. Hamonic in particular — the highly-touted defenseman led the Isles with a plus-six rating last year and was third on the team in TOI (22:25), third in hits and second in blocked shots.

As for Strome and Reinhart, they’ll both begin the year back in junior. This was likely going to be the case regardless of labor strife — Strome is 19, Reinhart’s 18 — but there was a possibility of the pair making an impression and perhaps sticking around out of training camp.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…