Scott Niedermayer officially announced his retirement from professional hockey at a press conference attended by various media, Ducks staff and family members at Honda Center.
"It's been a tough decision, but after plenty of reflection, I'm here to announce I'm retiring from professional hockey," Niedermayer said to lead off lengthy remarks in which he thanked numerous teammates, coaches, management and staff members from both the Ducks and New Jersey Devils. Niedermayer remained composed until he thanked his family (wife Lisa and four boys), during which he became noticeably emotional.
“It has been a difficult decision, but I feel it is the right time," Niedermayer said. "I am excited about experiencing new opportunities, as well as pursuing my other interests. The last 18 years have been filled with more than I ever could have dreamed. There are many wonderful things I will miss about the game, especially the challenge of competing with my teammates. I wish them the best of luck in the future.”
Niedermayer 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 (no other player other than Niedermayer has even won five of those six). No NHL player won more than Niedermayer’s four Stanley Cups during his playing career (Draper, Holmstrom, Lidstrom, Maltby and McCarty have also won four in that time). In addition, Niedermayer is the only player in hockey history to have won a combination of four Stanley Cups and two gold medals.
Niedermayer, 36 (8/31/73), appeared in 1,263 games over 18 NHL seasons with the Ducks and New Jersey Devils, collecting 172-568=740 points with a +167 rating. Originally selected by New Jersey in the first round (third overall) of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, he made his NHL debut with the Devils on Oct. 16, 1991 at the New York Rangers. All time, Niedermayer ranks 19th in assists, 23rd in points, 21st in games played and tied for 14th in power play goals (90) among NHL defensemen. He also ranks seventh in career game-winning goals (39) among defensemen. Thirteen of those 39 goals came in overtime, the most by a defenseman in NHL history. Niedermayer is the all-time leading scorer among defensemen for both the Ducks and Devils.
Signed as a free agent on Aug. 4, 2005 and named the sixth captain in club history on Oct. 3, 2005, Niedermayer helped Anaheim become the first team from California to win hockey’s ultimate prize in 2007. In 21 postseason contests that year, he earned 3-8=11 points and was presented with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With younger brother Rob as a teammate in 2007, the Niedermayers became the first set of brothers to win the Stanley Cup together since Brent and Duane Sutter won with the New York Islanders in both 1982 and 1983. Niedermayer appeared in his final 371 regular season NHL contests in an Anaheim uniform, scoring 60-204=264 points with 306 penalty minutes. Niedermayer is the Ducks’ all-time leader in goals, assists, points and power play goals (39) among club defensemen.
Niedermayer also won three Stanley Cups during his tenure with New Jersey (1995, 2000 and 2003). In 202 career postseason contests, he earned 25-73=98 points, which currently ranks eighth in appearances and 13th in points all-time among league blueliners. Niedermayer was named a finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in three straight seasons (2004, 2006 and 2007) and won the award following the 2003-04 season. He was also named an NHL All-Star six times during his NHL career (1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009).
A native of Cranbrook, British Columbia, Niedermayer captained Team Canada to the gold medal in Vancouver at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Canada captured the tournament title with an overtime victory (3-2) against Team USA. He won his first Olympic gold medal at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. In international competition, Niedermayer also won gold with Canada at the 1991 World Junior Championships, the 2004 World Cup and the 2004 World Championships.