Your source for the best in Anaheim Ducks News, Stories, Events, Pictures and Video.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Anaheim Ducks News for Thursday Part 1 - The Scott Niedermayer Post

Today was a news filled day with Scott returning and a few other items.. So onto the news!

Duckswire Roaming Reporter Diana went today's practice and got some video!

Video from today's interview - Link

Photo of the Day

Official Ducks coverage of today's skate

“I’ve felt better, but hopefully each day I feel better and better,” Niedermayer said in assessing his time on the ice. “I’ve skated a little bit on my own but not the caliber that I’m going to be preparing to skate in the NHL. I have some work ahead of me for sure.’
While he will not get a chance to practice with his teammates until next week when the Ducks return home from a three-game road trip, Niedermayer said being back with them is one of the main reasons he decided to return to the club.

Read the rest here - Link coverage via the AP

In a mostly deserted rink, a solitary figure zipped around the ice.

Scott Niedermayer was back at work.

After the Anaheim Ducks won their first Stanley Cup last summer, Niedermayer was almost completely convinced he had played his final NHL game.

Gradually, as he watched the Ducks play, he changed his mind.

"It's one thing to make the decision in the summer, but then to be here opening night when the banner went up, we got our Stanley Cup rings, all pretty special times. The best of times of being a professional athlete," the 34-year-old Niedermayer, more gray than black in his stubble, said Thursday after skating seriously for the first time since June.

Read the rest here - Link

MVN Coverage

He knows that his absence caused frustration and questions, something he regrets. Yet he does not regret being given all the time he needed to make the right decision. “I’m thankful for that because without that I’d probably be sitting somewhere now regretting or wishing I had made a different decision.” Watching the team struggled “probably played a small factor” in his decision, but the biggest factor was “realizing I still wanted to get out there and compete.” He also confessed that he missed the “special friendships and experiences” with teammates. “I didn’t think I would as much as I did.”

Read the rest here - Link

Press Enterprise Coverage

Exactly six months after winning the Stanley Cup, the Ducks now have a reason to realistically think about defending that championship.

General Manager Brian Burke announced Wednesday that star defenseman Scott Niedermayer will be returning to the team and hopefully will be back in the lineup within one week.

Niedermayer had been contemplating retirement since the Ducks won their first Stanley Cup championship, and his fourth, on June 5. He called Burke on Sunday to indicate he was ready to return.

Read the rest here - Link

OC Register in depth coverage

ROB NIEDERMAYER: "Making sure that he got to do this on his own time ... that was big. I don't think something like that would happen with a lot of other organizations. That was pretty classy. He just mentioned what he was doing to me the day before, and I was thrilled. He's a pretty low key guy, so all he did was tell me, 'I'm coming back.' I know that it was something that he has been getting asked a lot about, so I didn't want to put any pressure on him to come back. It was a big decision for him with his family and everything. I'm just glad he made the right one."
ANDY MCDONALD: "There's no doubt about it, we are an excited group to have Scotty coming back. He's a terrific player and we are going to become that much better as a team. It is great to be out there with him. He moves the puck really well. It makes things a lot easier when you can get that pass from a defenseman under pressure. Like I said we are an excited group."

Read the rest here - Link

OC Register Analysis

"I don't think one player is going to make all the difference. Not even Gretzky – well, maybe Gretzky could have. For us it took 20 of us to win the Stanley Cup last year and that's what it's going to take this year."

Still, it's no coincidence that the Ducks remembered who they were Wednesday night when they shellacked Buffalo – "we looked like the old Ducks," General Manager Brian Burke said – after they heard their former captain and future Hall of Famer was coming back.

Read the rest here - Link

MSNBC Analysis of Scott's Return

On the surface, this seems like a huge break for the Ducks, who are struggling along at hockey’s version of the Mendoza Line, the cutoff point for playoff qualification. Adding a Norris Trophy-winning defenseman of Niedermayer’s capabilities — he led all defensemen in scoring with a career-high 69 points last season — would appear to once again make them a serious challenger for Stanley Cup honors.

“We are obviously very pleased that Scotty has chosen to come back and play,” a naturally excited Burke said. “He earned the right to take time in making a decision, one that was clearly difficult for him.”

Read the rest here - Link

LA Times Coverage

His salt-and-pepper beard a little stubbier and grayer, veteran Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer worked out Thursday in Anaheim, showing he's on course to rejoin the defending Stanley Cup champions after a three-month hockey sabbatical.
Niedermayer, 34, went through individual drills at Anaheim Ice, performing such rudimentary tasks as puck handling, skating on three-man breaks and one-touch slap shots. He mixed in a few short bursts of speed between the blue lines and finished off with some longer strides around the rink.

Read the rest here - Link

The Fourth Period Coverage

As part of the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, a "Tagging Rule" comes into play for the Ducks, which indicates that after December 1 of a season, a player can only join a team if his salary not only fits into the current season payroll, but it must remain within the set salary cap for future years.

"We will have to move contractual obligations for next year," Ducks GM Brian Burke told the Register.

The Los Angeles Times reports forward Todd Marchant and defensemen Francois Beauchemin and Sean O'Donnell could be involved in trade talks.

Read the rest here - Link