You can leave the game of hockey, but it never quite leaves you.
That's what Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer has discovered in his 11-years of retirement.
"I'm coaching my youngest son," Niedermayer shared as this week's guest on the Speak of the Devils Podcast, presented by RWJ Barnabas Health. "I took the head position for the first time, so [I'm] fully committed to his team and been enjoying that."
If anyone knows a thing or two about commitment, it would be Niedermayer, the four-time Stanley Cup Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist. And he hopes he's imparting some of that wisdom onto the young people he is now coaching, including his son.
Of course, when you're Scott Niedermayer's son, and the Hall of Famer is coaching you, that might feel more like just having Dad as your coach.
"I think looking back, they'll be thankful," he joked, "I don't know, at the moment, sometimes if they think it's all that great."
Although it's not something he went through, he can appreciate and understand what it would be like to be a second-generation Neidermayer hockey player, trying to make a name for yourself. There are likely more eyes on you, as that 'Niedermayer' name skate's past.
"They don't bring it up," he said, of pressure, his children may face. "I don't think they know any different. But I think I can sort of recognize [it] so you do get kind of used to are picking that out."
Never one to have an ego, Neidermayer reminds the listeners, "it's by no means overwhelming by no means am I the Beatles walking into a rink," but one can appreciate a Hall of Famer walking into a Canadian hockey rink, standing by the glass or in the stands with other parents watching their children play.
"You know some people nowadays, actually the kids don't even know who I am, because I'm too old."
Neidermayer is one of those former players who are never too far from the game. After a life so regimented by a hockey schedule, there's plenty to appreciate how to make that transition from playing the game.
Now, a decade into retirement, Niedermayer is at least starting to figure it all out. Being just Dad, being able to be around, not having to go on road trips or extended time at arenas. He's tried his hand at a few things, from scouting for the Anaheim Ducks to becoming a 'ski bum' near his home in British Columbia or going for mountain bike rides.
"[It's] another difficult transition now having gone through it, And, you know, I don't even know if I'm through it yet. 10 years later […], I'm getting closer than I was 10 years ago."
Join Scott Niedermayer in conversation with Matt Loughlin and Amanda Stein on this week's edition of the Speak of the Devils Podcast, presented by RWJ Barnabas Health.