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Defenceman Scott Niedermayer returns to lineup for Anaheim Ducks @NHLdotcom

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Scott Niedermayer returned to the Anaheim Ducks' lineup on Sunday, playing for the first time since he hoisted the Stanley Cup last June.

When his name was announced as a starter for the game against the San Jose Sharks, the crowd gave him a loud ovation.

The 34-year-old Niedermayer, named the playoffs MVP after helping the Ducks win their first NHL title, sat out the first part of this season while contemplating retirement. He let the team know on Dec. 5 that he was returning, and began working out with his teammates.

To make room for him under the salary cap, the Ducks traded Andy McDonald to St. Louis on Friday in a deal that included acquiring Doug Weight. Anaheim activated Niedermayer, who had been suspended while he wasn't with the team, the following day.

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