Five new members were inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame today, including Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Fred Shero, Geraldine Heaney, and most important to us Californians, Scott Niedermeyer.
Living in Southern California being a Vancouver Canucks fan, I didn’t have the biased that the Anaheim [Mighty] Ducks or Los Angeles Kings fans had towards each other, but growing up with people who were fans of either team, you either hated or loved Niedermeyer in the late parts of his career, but regardless, you respected who he is and his play.
No matter what your opinion was of Scott, he deserves to be recognized as a Hall of Famer. He was drafted third overall in the 1991 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils and would spend the next 13 seasons in Trenton. While with the Devils, he played in 892 regular season games, scored 112 goals, and had 364 assist, giving him 476 points over that span. Along with that he played in 146 post-season games, attaining 64 points, 17 coming from goals (47 assist), and helped the Devils win three Stanley Cup Championships. A very good reason for the Devils to drop a banner from the rafters with the number 27 on December 16, 2011, forever retiring that number showing their appreciation for Neidermeyer’s commitment to the organization.
Niedermeyer’s career wasn’t over in Trenton though, as he signed with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (renamed to just the Ducks) during the 2004-2005 NHL Lockout. He spent four seasons in the California sun, playing in 289 regular season games. His age did not show any deterioration of play as he pitted 60 shots into the back of the net, and had a helping hand on 204 goals.
His playoff play was what truly made him a hero on Katella Avenue though. Over his 56 post-season games, he netted eight goals, and assisted 26 of them. Possibly the greatest moment of Scott’s entire career was winning the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007, where he was the first to raise the trophy as the representing captain, and then went on to hand the trophy off to his brother Rob. “To be able to hand him the Stanley Cup was definitely a highlight of my career,” said Scott of the event. Niedermeyer also won the Conn Smythe Trophy that year as the MVP of the NHL Playoffs.
By the end of his career, Niedermeyer was the all-time leading scorer for the Devils and Ducks franchises for defensemen. Scott was inducted for his skating, leadership, scoring abilities, and overall play, which was appreciated by teammates such as Teemu Selanne. “I’m so happy for Scotty!” said Selanne, “He was one of the best players to play the game and deserves to join the legends of hockey in the Hall of Fame. It was unbelievable to watch him as a player, his skating was incredible. It was an honor to be his teammate. Congratulations, Scotty!”
When asked about being a Hall of Fame selection, Niedermeyer said, “It’s pretty surreal to get this call, to be told you’re being inducted into the Hall of Fame.” No doubt Niedermeyer is a special player that not only has the approval of fans, but as well as his peers with his induction and we here at ValleyBayNews would like to send our congratulations to Scotty as well.
In other Anaheim Ducks news, the “RPG” (Ryan, Perry, Getzlaf) line has been separated, and the two years of rumors have an answer. Bobby Ryan was sent north to the Ottawa Senators this weekend, in exchange for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen, and a first-round draft pick. Ryan expressed his happiness for the trade on a phone call, “Relieved is the best way to describe my feelings. I’m looking forward to a fresh start and embracing my new teammates… Ironically, the Senators were a team that I watched throughout the playoffs this year. I love the way they play.”
The phone call was not the only way Ryan showed his happiness as Twitter gave away some feelings from Ryan:
“Ottawa… I’m coming in hot.”
“My gf just asked me if we were moving north to Detroit. Not a geography major haha”
Ryan showed some love for his old team though on Twitter as well with a three tweet message for the fans:
“Want to take a second to thank the [Anaheim Ducks] for the great years I have had there. The fans, the area, the friendships I have made will last me a lifetime. Through the ups and downs, it’s truly been my pleasure being part of that organization. Thank you to the Samuelis for teaching me how to embrace and learn to be a part of a TEAM and community.”
Also this weekend, Ducks forward, Matt Beleskey signed a two-year contract extension for $2.7 million. “I’m really excited. Being back with the Ducks for another two years was exactly what I wanted to do, and I’m just looking forward to being in Anaheim for the next few years, I didn’t really want to go anywhere else, and it worked out the best way possible.”
For more updates on the Anaheim Ducks, follow me on Twitter (@TaylorBlakeWard), and ValleyBayNews as well (@ValleyBayNews).