NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - When Scott Niedermayer was drafted by the New Jersey Devils with their first-round pick and third overall in 1991, the Edmonton, Alberta native had no clue about the Garden State.
"I didn't even know where New Jersey was," Niedermayer said. "I had no idea what I was getting into. I actually had a green and red Devils' jersey when I was a kid and I remember watching one playoff run (1987) where I really got caught up in the excitement. I also knew some of the players. But when I got drafted, I was totally young and green.
"It was a whole new world to me."
On Friday, Niedermayer, a swift-skating defenseman who helped the Devils to three Stanley Cup titles in a star-studded career, returned to New Jersey to have his No. 27 retired. He joins two other defensemen - Ken Daneyko (No. 3) and Scott Stevens (No. 4) - as the only players in the team's 30-year history to hold such an honor.