Ducks Radio Analyst
The Ducks were in the midst of their morning skate Friday at HP Pavilion in San Jose when word came down that Rob Niedermayer had signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the New Jersey Devils.
Niedermayer, who spent five-plus seasons with the Ducks after having been acquired from the Calgary Flames in 2003, was an unrestricted free agent who had been among a host of NHL veterans having difficulty finding employment.
“He’s just happy all the waiting is over and he has a place to go play,” said Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer, Rob’s older brother.
The incredible irony in this development, obviously, is the fact that Scott Niedermayer spent the first 12 seasons of his NHL career in New Jersey, and opposed Rob when the Devils beat the Ducks in seven games in the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals.
Now, the possibility exists that the two, who won a Stanley Cup together with the Ducks in 2007, could again square off in the Finals, only with Scott playing for the Ducks and Rob for New Jersey.
“That would really be tempting,” Scott Niedermayer said. “It will be different to see him in a Devils uniform -- and me not be in one. It’s a little weird, for sure.”
A longtime fixture at right wing on the Ducks’ checking line, Rob Niedermayer will play center in New Jersey, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters.
The Ducks, meanwhile, prepared for tonight’s preseason matchup with the Sharks, the penultimate game on an eight-game exhibition schedule that concludes with a Sunday contest against the Kings at Staples Center.
Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf
, who made his pre-season debut in Thursday night’s 3-2, overtime victory at Vancouver, is not scheduled to be in tonight’s lineup. Getzlaf, recovering from July 29 sports-hernia surgery, emerged from Thursday’s game with no physical problems.
“Back-to-back (games) wouldn’t be smart,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “I think he looked rusty in some situations, but he definitely showed what kind of player he is.”
Getzlaf played 20 minutes, 40 seconds against the Canucks, tops among Ducks forwards, picked up the primary assist on a third-period goal by defenseman Ryan Whitney, tied right wing Corey Perry
for team-high honors with four shots on goal and dished out three hits.