Report: Isles have no plans to trade Niederreiter

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It appears the New York Islanders aren’t going to entertain the idea of dealing Nino Niederreiter.

One day after reports surfaced that the Isles prospect wanted out of the organization, a Newsday source claimed GM Garth Snow had no plans to move Neiderreiter.

Snow wouldn’t comment on the demand, but did offer the following:

“All conversations with players remain private, but I will say that Nino has never told me that he’s unhappy.”

According to Newsday, Andre Rufener — Niederreiter’s Switzerland-based agent — recently sent Snow an email asking that he try to trade his client, New York’s first-round pick (fifth overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Here’s more, from Newsday:

Rufener declined to comment on the trade request, which was first reported by ESPN.com.

Rufener sent Snow the email last week, during the Islanders’ six-day training camp prior to the start of the current, 48-game season, voicing his displeasure with the team’s handling of his client.

The next day, Snow, along with his coaches from the Islanders and in Bridgeport [New York’s AHL affiliate], sat down with Niederreiter after the scrimmage between the Islanders and the Sound Tigers and discussed why Niederreiter did not get an invite to the NHL camp.

Niederreiter took the training camp snub in stride — “I’ve learned that there are things you cannot control and you can’t worry about those,” he said — but that didn’t make the situation any less strange.

During a camp scrimmage between Bridgeport and the Isles, Niederreiter was one of the best players on the ice, scoring a pretty goal (out-muscling 6-foot-4, 240-pound defenseman Matt Carkner and beating No. 1 goalie Evgeni Nabokov in the process.)

There are also questions about how much more Niederreiter has to gain at the AHL level. He was recently named to the league’s Eastern Conference All-Star team and has 36 points in 39 games.

That said, there are arguments in favor of keeping him in the minors. Niederreiter had a difficult rookie campaign in 2011-12, scoring just one goal (his only point) in 55 games while posting a minus-29 rating.

Report: Blue Jackets RFA Anderson in contact with Hockey Canada about 2018 Olympics

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The preseason is well underway and Josh Anderson is still without a contract.

Anderson, who scored 17 goals and 29 points last season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, is one of two remaining restricted free agents without a new deal. The other is Andreas Athanasiou of the Detroit Red Wings.

While there were reports this summer about Athanasiou potentially going to the KHL for this season, John Shannon of Sportsnet reported on Thursday that Anderson’s representatives have reached out to Hockey Canada’s staff about the 2018 Olympics. 

Anderson’s entry-level contract, with an AAV of just over $894,000, expired at the end of last season.

Meanwhile, here is the latest on this ongoing contract situation.

Making an impression: Sergachev has ‘NHL written all over him’

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Mikhail Sergachev has, over the summer, stated his belief he can play in the NHL this season.

He had a small taste of NHL action last season, appearing in four games for Montreal — the team that selected him ninth overall in 2016 — before getting sent back to junior and then being traded in June to Tampa Bay, as part of a blockbuster involving Jonathan Drouin to the Habs.

Well, Sergachev made a statement Wednesday in his preseason debut for the Lightning.

He scored once. He also played more than 22 minutes, which led all Lightning players on the night. That included time on the power play and penalty kill. If he was looking to make a favorable impression, to show that he belongs at the NHL level when the regular season begins, this seems to be another step in that direction.

“You watch this kid skate, shoot, stickhandle, he’s got NHL written all over him,” Tampa Bay’s associate coach Rick Bowness told the Tampa Bay Times. “Now we’ve got to give him experience. How much can he handle?”

There is competition on the blue line, with eight defensemen under contract in Tampa Bay for this season. That includes Sergachev, who is still only 19 years old. After getting sent back to junior last season, he recorded 43 points in 50 games with Windsor and then won the Memorial Cup that spring. That said, he’s made it a point of saying going back to junior “is not an option” for him.

Related:

Looking to make the leap: Mikhail Sergachev

Report: Lupul will have ‘independent medical exam’

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Joffrey Lupul issued a statement Wednesday, saying he wouldn’t seek a second medical opinion after the Maple Leafs announced he didn’t pass his training camp physical.

A day later, reports have surfaced that the 33-year-old forward will, in fact, undergo another, independent medical test.

That is according to James Mirtle of The Athletic:

Earlier this week, Lupul made accusations against the Maple Leafs on Instagram.

“I’m ready … just awaiting the call,” Lupul wrote in the comments section of the Instagram post, per a screen grab. “haha failed physical? They cheat. Everyone lets them.”

Lupul, who didn’t pass his physical for a second year in a row, issued an apology yesterday. But those comments — which have since been deleted — seem to have grabbed the attention of the league.

Darren Dreger of TSN added to that, saying it’s the NHL pursuing a second medical opinion on this matter.

“The National Hockey League has that right to pursue the second opinion. That’s exactly what they’re engaging in right now,” Dreger reported Thursday.

“The reasoning behind it is because of the comment that Lupul made on social media. I’ll go back a year ago. The league didn’t step in a year ago but Lupul stayed quiet at that point. So they want to make sure — ‘They’ being the National Hockey League — that the medical evaluation from the Toronto Maple Leafs is 100 per cent above the board.”

Team USA won’t include NHL draft-eligible prospects at 2018 Olympics

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) General manager Jim Johannson has ruled out the possibility of the U.S. men’s hockey team having NHL draft-eligible prospects competing at the Winter Olympics in February.

Johannson tells The Associated Press he doesn’t view anyone from the 18-and-younger pool of prospects capable of cracking the projected lineup of non-NHL players, many of whom are opening this season playing in Europe.

USA Hockey’s assistant executive director says he’s also targeting a number of established college players, and would not rule out keeping a spot or two open for members of the U.S. team competing at the World Junior Championships this winter.

Johansson spoke in Buffalo, New York, on Thursday, where he is attending USA Hockey’s sixth annual All-American Prospects game. The game features the top 42 U.S.-born players eligible to be selected in the NHL draft in June.