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Devils to reportedly retire Niedermayer's number

by Dave Lozo
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The New Jersey Devils will reportedly raise former defenseman Scott Niedermayer's No. 27 to the rafters of Prudential Center at some point this season.

Niedermayer, who won three Stanley Cups with the franchise and one more with the Anaheim Ducks before retiring this past offseason, was at the Honda Center on Friday night to watch the game between his two former teams. The Devils haven't confirmed the news reported originally by the Newark Star-Ledger -- it was a surprise to Niedermayer when he heard it -- but some of his former Devils teammates were excited to hear it.

"I think it's a great honor," said Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who won three Cups and two Olympic gold medals with Niedermayer as a teammate. "He's a part of what the Devils are all about, the way he played the game, the way he conducted himself. I had great experiences with him with the Devils and outside with Team Canada and he's a good friend. It's well-deserved."

Niedermayer played 12 seasons with the Devils before signing as a free agent with the Ducks for the 2005-06 season. In 974 regular-season games with the Devils, Niedermayer had 112 goals and 364 assists. In 146 playoff games with New Jersey, he had 17 goals and 47 assists.

Devils center Jason Arnott, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime against the Dallas Stars in Game 6 to get Niedermayer his second Cup, was happy to hear the news.

"The time that I played with him, unbelievable. For me, one of the best 'D' I ever played with," Arnott said. "No surprise."

It's also the kind of news that makes the 36-year-old Arnott realize that time is sitting still for anyone.

"It's going by real quick," Arnott said with a laugh. "He's a year older than I am."

Even Devils coach John MacLean, who will turn 46 next month, was playing in 1995 when Niedermayer won his first Cup in New Jersey.

"It's a great thing for Scotty," MacLean said. "He's a great player and a great leader."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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