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Ducks land Weight, make room for Niedermayer

by John Kreiser
The Anaheim Ducks traded center Andy McDonald to the St. Louis Blues in order to create the cap room they need to bring back Scott Niedermayer
The Anaheim Ducks created the cap room needed to bring back All-Star defenseman Scott Niedermayer on Friday by sending center Andy McDonald to the St. Louis Blues for center Doug Weight, left wing Michal Birner and a seventh-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft.

The trade allows the Ducks to make enough room under the cap for Niedermayer, who announced earlier this week he was returning to the Ducks after considering retirement. Anaheim would have been over the cap next season had it not shed significant salary.

Weight, 36, is a four-time NHL All-Star, but is off to a slow start this season with just four goals, 11 points, a plus-4 rating and 12 penalty minutes in 29 games. All four of his goals have come in his last five games. He is an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The Detroit native has 259 goals and 955 points in 1,093 NHL games with the New York Rangers (1990-93), Edmonton Oilers (1993-2001), Blues (2001-07), and Carolina Hurricanes (2006). He’s been with a Blue since St. Louis acquired him from Edmonton in 2001, except for the final weeks of the 2005-06 season, when he was dealt to Carolina and helped the Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup. Weight then re-signed with the Blues as a free agent that summer.

Weight ranks seventh among active NHL players in assists and 10th in points. He has played for Team USA in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics, the 1996 and 2004 World Cup, and the 2005 World Championship.

“Doug is a true professional and we would like to thank him and his wife Allison for the time and dedication they have provided to the St. Louis Blues,” Blues President John Davidson said.

John Kreiser
McDonald, 30, has also struggled this season, with just four goals and 16 points in 33 games. He had 27 goals and 78 points for the Ducks last season, when he appeared in his first All-Star Game and helped Anaheim to the first Stanley Cup in team history. The 5-10, 183-pound center led the Ducks in last spring’s playoffs with 10 goals and had 14 points in 21 games.

His best season was 2005-06, when he scored 34 goals and had 85 points.

The native of Strathroy, Ontario, has 92 goals and 167 assists for 259 points in 391 career games. He played four seasons at Colgate, signed with the Ducks as an undrafted free agent on Apr. 3, 2000, and is signed through the 2008-09 season.

Andy McDonald has been a great contributor for us over the last few seasons, and we thank him for the tremendous work ethic and character he brought to our club,” Ducks executive VP and General Manager Brian Burke said. “At the same time, we are pleased to add one of the most dynamic passers in the NHL today with Doug Weight. His production and leadership during his NHL and international career speak for themselves.” 

Birner, a 21-year-old native of the Czech Republic, has two goals and seven points in 18 games with Peoria, the Blues’ AHL affiliate. He’s in his second pro season after being picked by St. Louis in the fourth round of the 2004 Entry Draft.

Material from wire services and team Web sites was used in this report.  
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