The Ducks announced on Tuesday that they have named four-time Stanley Cup champion Scott Niedermayer team captain for the 2008-09 season. Chris Pronger and Ryan Getzlaf have been named alternate captains. In addition, Rob Niedermayer will serve as an additional alternate captain when necessary.
“Scotty is a tremendous leader and has been for his entire career,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. “He has a unique personality in that he has the ability to settle things down.”
Niedermayer, 35 (8/31/73), returns to his role as captain, previously serving the Ducks in the same capacity during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. The 6-1, 195-pound defenseman re-joined the Ducks on Dec. 16, 2007 after sitting out the first 34 games of the 2007-08 season while contemplating retirement. Niedermayer also served as team captain for the New Jersey Devils during the final half of the 2003-04 NHL season.
“It’s an honor to be named team captain, but it was not something I was necessarily expecting,” said Niedermayer. “We have several great leaders in this locker room and I’m just happy to be part of that.”
In 1,101 career NHL games with New Jersey
, Niedermayer has collected 148-485=633 points. He won three Stanley Cups with New Jersey (1995, 2000 and 2003) and helped Anaheim win its first Stanley Cup in 2007 (he also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player that postseason). He is the only player in hockey history to have won a Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship, a World Cup, a Memorial Cup and a World Junior Title during his career. The 17-year NHL veteran has also appeared in four NHL All-Star Games (1998, 2001, 2004 and 2008) and won the Norris Trophy as the top NHL defenseman in 2004. Niedermayer signed a four-year contract with the Ducks on August 4, 2005.
“I think it’s a natural progression,” Pronger said. “Last year it was in my court because Scotty wasn’t around. He was the leader and captain of this team for the two years previous to that. He’s obviously back and committed to being here.”
Pronger, 33 (10/10/74), returns for his third consecutive season in a leadership role with the Ducks. He served as team captain last season (2007-08) and as an alternate in 2006-07. The Dryden, Ontario
native has appeared in 940 NHL regular season games, earning 131-427=558 points over his 15-year career. Pronger won his first Stanley Cup championship with Anaheim
in 2007. The 6-6, 214-pound defenseman won both the Hart (NHL’s Most Valuable Player) and Norris Trophies in 1999-00 while with the St. Louis Blues. Pronger was acquired from Edmonton
in exchange for Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, a first-round selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, a second-round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional draft pick on July 3, 2006.
“This has been talked about going back to the end of last season,” Pronger said. “We just talked about what we were going to do going forward and this was the decision. It’s a good mix with Scotty, myself, Getzy, Robby and all the other leaders we have in our locker room.”
Said Niedermayer, “I was a captain here for two years and then I decided I wasn’t going to show up. Chris took the captaincy and did a great job with it in a difficult time coming back from a championship. The situation now is I’m the captain and I’ll do my best with it. Neither of us is really going to change. We both would respect each other no matter who had the “C”. I don’t think there is an issue at all.”
Getzlaf, 23 (5/10/85), assumes the role of alternate captain for the first time in his career. Entering his fourth NHL season, the 6-4, 216-pound center has earned 63-116=179 points in 216 career games. Getzlaf led the Ducks in assists (58) and points (82), while placing fourth in the NHL in scoring among players 22 and younger (at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season). The Regina, Saskatchewan native won his first Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, leading the club in points during their 21-game run to the championship. Drafted by Anaheim in the first round (19th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Getzlaf signed a five-year contract extension with the Ducks on Nov. 20, 2007.
“With the guys in our room and the amount of leaders we have, it’s definitely an honor,” Getzlaf said. “The guys who have had it around the room, who have all worn letters for a lot of their career, they see another chance for a young guy like myself to be able to come up and be a leader like they are."