New York Islanders Blue v White Game

Niederreiter continues to impress, but won’t start season with Isles


Nino Niederreiter has been tearing it up in the AHL and stood out during recent a scrimmage at Islanders training camp.

But none of that will change his NHL fortunes, apparently.

GM Garth Snow already stated “El Nino” won’t be with the Isles when they open against the Devils on Saturday — even though Niederreiter leads Bridgeport in scoring, sits sixth in the AHL in points (36) and was one of the best players on the ice during Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Though disappointed, the 20-year-old Swiss product is taking it in stride.

“I’ve learned that there are things you cannot control and you can’t worry about those,” Niederreiter told Newsday. “I promised myself I wouldn’t get frustrated about those things this year. All I can control is what I do on the ice.”

Niederreiter biggest highlight of the scrimmage was when he used his size to muscle past Matt Carkner and roof his own rebound past Evgeni Nabokov.

At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Niederreiter has the size to become the type of power forward the Isles haven’t had in years.

“He’s doing all the right things,” coach Jack Capuano said. “Garth’s got a plan for him, on track for his development. He played hard, scored a good goal, went to the net — he’s right on track.”

It’s understandable why the Isles would want to bring Niederreiter along slowly. They’ve been burned in the past by rushing prospects (see: Bailey, Josh) and saw how much Niederreiter struggled last year, scoring just one goal in 55 games.

He says playing in the AHL has been good for him.

“My confidence is back,” he explained. “It was great playing in the AHL to start the season, and I’m going to focus on that.”

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
Leave a comment

It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
Leave a comment

In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.