The Ducks announced today they have agreed to terms with defenseman Scott Niedermayer on a one-year contract. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.
“Keeping Scott Niedermayer in an Anaheim Ducks jersey was paramount for our club,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “We’re extremely pleased he’s chosen to remain with us and look forward to another great season from a Hall of Fame-bound player.”
Niedermayer, 35 (8/31/73), played in all 82 games last season, collecting 14-45=59 points with 70 penalty minutes (PIM). He concluded the regular season ranked third among NHL defensemen in points and assists, and was third overall in total time-on-ice (2,182:29 TOI) and avg. TOI (26:56). He became Anaheim’s leading all-time scorer among defensemen in his fourth season with the Ducks last year, recording his 171st point as a Duck (assist) on Dec. 3 at Chicago (now has 216 points as a Duck). In 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Niedermayer earned 3-7=10 points with 11 PIM, finishing tied for third among team leaders in scoring.
“I'm excited to continue my career with the Ducks,” said Niedermayer. “I still enjoy the game and feel the opportunity to win is right here in Anaheim.”
Signed as a free agent on Aug. 4, 2005, Niedermayer helped lead Anaheim to its first Stanley Cup championship in 2007, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 playoffs. In 291 career NHL games with the Ducks, Niedermayer has collected 50-166=216 points with a +4 rating and 268 PIM. He has been named to the NHL Western Conference All-Star Team in the last three consecutive seasons and was honored as a First Team NHL All-Star in 2006 and 2007.
A native of Cranbrook, British Columbia, Niedermayer has won four Stanley Cup championships since making his NHL debut with the New Jersey Devils during the 1991-92 season. He is the only player in hockey history to have won a Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold Medal, World Championship, World Cup, Memorial Cup and World Junior title. Niedermayer was named a Norris Trophy finalist for three straight seasons, winning the award in 2004. He has been named to a conference All-Star Team six times during his NHL career (1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009) and produced 12 overtime goals, the most all-time by an NHL defenseman.
Originally selected by New Jersey in the first round (third overall) of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, Niedermayer has split his 18-season NHL career with the Devils (1991-2004) and Ducks (2005-09). In 1,101 career NHL games, Niedermayer has recorded 162-530=692 points with a +176 rating and 746 PIM.
Niedermayer took part in a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon from his offseason home in British Columbia. Following is a transcript:
On the decision to come back to Anaheim
Once the decision was made to come back, it really wasn’t a difficult one to come back to Anaheim. We’ve enjoyed it there. The family is very comfortable there after being there for four years. I have good friends on the team. I feel excited just to be part of the club I feel we can be competitive and get ourselves into the playoffs again and see what happens. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been part of many teams that have had that opportunity. I’m looking forward to the same thing this year. That decision was easy. As far as the decision to come back and play again, I just had to take some time. The year is long and when it’s over, you need to catch your breath and rest a little bit. After that went on for awhile, I started to think ‘Do I want to continue to play or is this it?’ I think the last few years having made that decision, I’ve probably enjoyed playing more than I ever have, just realizing it doesn’t go on forever. In some ways, you maybe take little things for granted before. Now, I’m in a situation where maybe I understand a little better just how lucky and fortunate we are to compete in the NHL. I’ve enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to another fun year. Hopefully, we’ll win our share of games. That obviously makes it more fun when you’re in the middle of it.
On the signing coming after free agency began
That was just more the process. I think an agreement had been there for awhile. There was never any real consideration. I never really looked at that. Things were in place before that. It was just a matter of getting everything the right way. I wasn’t fielding any calls from anybody.
On if a deal was looked at more than one year
No, I don’t think so. I found myself in the situation too many times for people to hear about. If I did decide not to play again next year, I think the rule is once you’re over a certain age that the cap number sticks with the team. There were a lot of things to consider and that was one of them. Like I’ve been doing the last two years, I’m taking them one at a time. I just kept that train of thought going.
On the Ducks going forward
I’ve been around the game long enough and you know there are changes every year. There are always new challenges as a team going into each season. I’m excited. I believe we have a lot of talent on our team. Obviously, Chris is a great player. Losing him is not something you want to see happen. But you make the trade, you get a guy like Lupul back, who can add some scoring up front for us. It just changes the look of the team a bit. I’m very exciting and comfortable with our team.
On Luca Sbisa
It’s a new name, but anytime an 18-year-old kid can hang in a lineup like he did last year in Philadelphia, that is an accomplishment. He’s a young, talented hockey player. I’m excited to see what he can bring to our team.
On his brother, Rob
To be honest, I haven’t talked to my brother, so I really don’t know what may happen with him. Obviously, we’ve enjoyed the last four years tremendously given the opportunity to play together and the success that the team has had. To be part of that as two brothers has been better than we could have imagined. It’s been a great four years. I think we’re in a situation where, even four years ago, we don’t want to force anything like that. It has to work for him, the team and for myself to make it work. We’ll see how it plays out. It’s not a necessity, but if he is back, I would love it. We’ll just wait and see on that.
On Francois Beauchemin
He’s been a great partner for me for a number of years and a good player as well. I understand there is a business side for the team and as well for the player. Beauch is in a situation where he is an unrestricted player and can pick and choose where he may end up playing. It’s the first time he’s had that opportunity in his career. I’m sure he’s going to look at all the options and make a decision. We’d love to have him back if he chooses to come back.