The Anaheim Ducks announced today that defenseman Scott Niedermayer will return to the team for the remainder of the season.
“We are obviously very pleased that Scotty has chosen to come back and play,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. “He earned the right to take time in making a decision, one that was clearly difficult for him.”
Niedermayer, 34 (8/31/73), helped lead the Ducks to their first Stanley Cup championship last season, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the 2007 playoffs. With 15-54=69 points in 79 regular season games last year, Niedermayer became the first Duck to lead NHL defensemen in scoring, a career first. A finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy (top NHL defenseman) and 2007 Western Conference All-Star, he set career highs in goals, assists and points, breaking his own club single-season records in assists and points from the previous campaign.
“I’m excited to be rejoining my teammates and getting back on the ice,” said Niedermayer. “I would like to thank the Samuelis, Brian Burke and especially my teammates for their patience while I wrestled with this very difficult decision.”
Signed as a free agent on Aug. 4, 2005, Niedermayer has won four Stanley Cup championships since making his NHL debut with the New Jersey Devils during the 1991-92 season. He is the only player in hockey history to have won a Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold Medal, World Championship, World Cup, Memorial Cup and World Junior title. Niedermayer has been named a Norris Trophy finalist each of the last three seasons, winning the award in 2004. He has been named to four NHL All-Star teams during his career and has produced 10 overtime goals, the most all-time by an NHL defenseman.
Originally selected by New Jersey in the first round (third overall) of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, Niedermayer has split his 15-season NHL career between the Devils (1991-2004) and Ducks (2005-07). In 1,053 career games, Niedermayer has recorded 140-468=608 points with a +186 rating and 660 penalty minutes (PIM). His Anaheim totals include 28-104=132 points with a +14 rating and 86 PIM in 161 regular season games.
Anaheim Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke made the first announcement during a press conference tonight at Honda Center, about 30 minutes before the Ducks were to take on the Buffalo Sabres.
Burke also announced that Niedermayer will skate tomorrow at Anaheim Ice at 11:30 a.m. and could play for the Ducks within "7-10 days."
A transcript of Burke's press conference will be available soon.
Here is the official Announcment