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Niedermayer given the 'C'

by Staff
Scott Niedermayer got his "C" back on Tuesday when the Anaheim Ducks announced that the four-time Stanley Cup champion will serve as captain for the 2008-09 season.

Niedermayer, 35, was captain of the Ducks in 2005-06 and 2006-07, and received the Stanley Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman when the Ducks captured their first championship in June 2007.

The 6-1, 195-pound defenseman re-joined the Ducks on Dec. 16, 2007, after sitting out the first 34 games of the 2007-08 season while contemplating retirement. Niedermayer also served as team captain for the New Jersey Devils during the final half of the 2003-04 NHL season.

“It’s an honor to be named team captain, but it was not something I was necessarily expecting,” Niedermayer said. “We have several great leaders in this locker room, and I’m just happy to be part of that.”

Chris Pronger served as captain in 2007-08. He and  forward Ryan Getzlaf were named alternate captains. In addition, Rob Niedermayer will serve as an additional alternate captain when necessary.

“Scotty is a tremendous leader and has been for his entire career,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “He has a unique personality in that he has the ability to settle things down.”

In 1,101 career NHL games with New Jersey and Anaheim, Niedermayer has 148 goals and 485 assists for  633 points. He won three Stanley Cups with New Jersey (1995, 2000 and 2003) and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP with the Ducks in 2007. Niedermayer is the only player in hockey history to have won a Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship, a World Cup, a Memorial Cup and a World Junior Title during his career. The 17-year NHL veteran has appeared in four NHL All-Star Games (1998, 2001, 2004 and 2008) and won the Norris Trophy as the top NHL defenseman in 2004. Niedermayer signed a four-year contract with the Ducks on Aug. 4, 2005.

“I think it’s a natural progression,” Pronger said. “Last year it was in my court because Scotty wasn’t around. He was the leader and captain of this team for the two years previous to that. He’s obviously back and committed to being here.”

Pronger, 33, is in his third season with the Ducks after being acquired from Edmonton on July 3, 2006, after leading the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Final against Carolina. He had 12 goals and 31 assists for 43 points in 72 games in 2007-08.

"This has been talked about going back to the end of last season," Pronger said. "We just talked about what we were going to do going forward and this was the decision. It’s a good mix with Scotty, myself, Getzy, Robby and all the other leaders we have in our locker room."

"It’s an honor to be named team captain, but it was not something I was necessarily expecting. We have several great leaders in this locker room, and I’m just happy to be part of that."Scott Niedermayer
Said Niedermayer, "I was a captain here for two years, and then I decided I wasn’t going to show up. Chris took the captaincy and did a great job with it in a difficult time coming back from a championship. The situation now is I'm the captain and I'll do my best with it. Neither of us is really going to change. We both would respect each other no matter who had the "C.” I don't think there is an issue at all."

Getzlaf, 23, assumes the role of alternate captain for the first time in his career. The fourth-year center has 63 goals and 179 points in 216 career games. Getzlaf led the Ducks in assists (58) and points (82) last season while placing fourth in the NHL in scoring among players 22 and younger (at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season).

"With the guys in our room and the amount of leaders we have, it's definitely an honor," Getzlaf said. "The guys who have had it around the room, who have all worn letters for a lot of their career, they see another chance for a young guy like myself to be able to come up and be a leader like they are."

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