Scott Niedermayer (born August 31, 1973) is a retired Canadian ice hockey defenceman who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for two teams: the New Jersey Devils and the Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks. Niedermayer was known for his skating stride, and ability for leading or joining the offensive rush. Though he was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Niedermayer grew up in Cranbrook, British Columbia. The older brother of NHL Veteran Rob Niedermayer and cousin of Edmonton Oilers defenceman Jason Strudwick, Niedermayer is the only player to win every major North American and international championship in his career; he has won the Memorial Cup, World Junior Championship gold, IIHF World Championship gold, two Olympic gold medals, four Stanley Cups and the World Cup.
Niedermayer was drafted in the first round of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils with the third overall selection from the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He was considered one of the most promising and offensively talented defenceman ever drafted out of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The Devils drafted Niedermayer using the first round draft pick they had previously acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Tom Kurvers on October 16, 1989.
New Jersey Devils
After playing an initial four games with the Devils in the 1991–92 season, Niedermayer recorded 11 goals and 40 points in his rookie season in 1992–93, enough to be named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. He improved to 46 points in his second NHL season in 1993–94 and embarked on a lengthy playoff run with the Devils to the Eastern Conference finals, where they were defeated by eventual Stanley Cup champions, the New York Rangers in seven games. Niedermayer and the Devils followed their near berth in the Stanley Cup Finals with another playoff run the following season in 1995. Facing the Detroit Red Wings in the Finals, the Devils swept the series to win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history and Niedermayer’s first of his career.
Niedermayer then recorded 33-points and 35-points the next two seasons before emerging with 14 goals and 57 points in 1997–98, his most productive season with the Devils. In 2000, Niedermayer and the Devils won their second Stanley Cup, defeating the Dallas Stars. During the playoffs, Niedermayer tied a record held by both Larry Murphy and Paul Coffey for most shorthanded goals scored by a defenceman in the playoffs with two. The Devils reached the Finals for the second consecutive year in 2001, but were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche in seven games. After a 39-point effort in 2002–03, Niedermayer helped lead the Devils to their third Stanley Cup championship in eight years, though his brother, Rob, was on the losing end, with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. His 18 post-season points marked the highest playoff total of his career and tied teammate Jamie Langenbrunner for the league lead.
In 2003–04, Niedermayer had his second 50-point season with 14 goals and 40 assists. With fellow defencemen Scott Stevens and Brian Rafalski out of the lineup for extended periods for the Devils during the season, he became all the more valuable for the club. He was also given the captaincy in Stevens’ absence, beginning on January 9, 2004. That season, Niedermayer won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman, ending Nicklas Lidstrom‘s three-year hold on the award.
Becoming an unrestricted free agent in the 2005 off-season, Niedermayer ended his twelve-season tenure with the Devils, signing with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to a four-year, $27 million contract on August 4, 2005. It was reported that New Jersey had offered him a contract that would have made him the highest paid player on the team with a league-maximum salary of $7.8 million, but his desire to play alongside his brother Rob, who had played against the Devils in the 2003 Finals with Anaheim, outweighed the financial advantages. Also due to the fact that he wasn’t happy with the organization over his previous contract. Before the start of the 2005–06 season, he was named the team’s captain, succeeding Steve Rucchin, who had departed for the New York Rangers. In his first season with the Ducks, Niedermayer recorded a then-career-high of 63 points and helped carry the Mighty Ducks to the Western Conference Finals where they were eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers.
The following season, in 2006–07, Niedermayer was joined on the Ducks’ blueline by another Norris Trophy-winner, Chris Pronger, who was an integral part of the Ducks’ playoff defeat to the Oilers. The tandem of Pronger and Niedermayer helped the newly named Anaheim Ducks set franchise records in almost all categories, with Niedermayer also improving on his previous career-high in points with 15 goals and 69 points. He then helped Anaheim win their first Stanley Cup, defeating the Ottawa Senators 4–1 in the finals. Niedermayer’s leadership and prowess on the ice, scoring 11 points in 21 games, garnered him the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. Playing with brother Rob (an alternate captain to Scott, along with Pronger), the two became the first brothers to win the Stanley Cup together since Duane and Brent Sutter won the Stanley Cup in 1982 and 1983 with the New York Islanders. In a break with tradition, Scott let Rob take a lap around the Honda Center ice with the Cup after he took his lap. Normally, the alternate captain who has waited longest to win the Cup (in the 2006-07 Ducks case, Pronger and Teemu Selanne) gets to skate it around the ice after the captain takes his lap.
Though he had just won his fourth Stanley Cup and had recorded personal statistical bests, Niedermayer announced on June 19, 2007, that he was contemplating retirement. With training camp approaching, on September 6, 2007, he held a press conference where he stated he was still undecided on his playing status. As training camp then began on September 11, he was subsequently suspended by the Ducks. This was, however, for salary-cap reasons and not as a punitive measure. In April 2008, it was reported that the Ducks had fined him $500,000 for missing the training camp. As a result of his seeming retirement, he was replaced by Chris Pronger as team captain on September 28.
Niedermayer remained undecided until 28 games into the Ducks’ 2007–08 season, when he announced on December 5, 2007, that he would, in fact, return and play for the remainder of the season. Later in the season, teammateTeemu Selanne, who had also held out during the season as he contemplated retirement, similarly announced his return to the team. By coincidence or not, the late arrival of both Niedermayer and Selanne was a curious way for the Ducks to keep both players without going over the salary cap during the 2007-08 season. Playing in a limited 48 games, Niedermayer recorded 25 points. Going into the 2008 playoffs as defending champions, the Ducks were defeated by the Dallas Stars in the opening round. Niedermayer again briefly contemplated retirement, before announcing on June 26, 2008, intentions to fulfill at least one more year of the two remaining on his contract. Before the start of the 2008–09 season, it was announced on October 7, that Niedermayer would regain team captaincy (Pronger remained captain following Niedermayer’s comeback the previous season).
Niedermayer is the only Canadian player in the history of hockey to have won what many consider to be the “six major championships for Canadian players”, those championships being the Stanley Cup, Memorial Cup, World Junior Ice Hockey Championship gold, IIHF World Championship gold, Olympic gold, and aWorld Cup title.
On June 22, 2010, The Orange County Register reported that Niedermayer informed Ducks GM Bob Murray of his intentions to retire. On the same day, Niedermayer officially announced his retirement from the NHL during a special press conference held at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
|Competitor for Canada|
|Men’s ice hockey|
|Gold||2010 Vancouver||Ice hockey|
|Gold||2002 Salt Lake City||Ice hockey|
|Gold||2004 Czech Republic||Ice hockey|
|Gold||2004 World Cup of Hockey||Ice hockey|
|Silver||1996 World Cup of Hockey||Ice hockey|
|World Junior Championships|
|Gold||1991 Canada||Ice hockey|
Niedermayer has played for Canada in the following competitions:
- 1991 World Junior Championships (gold medal)
- 1992 World Junior Championships
- 1996 World Cup (runner-up)
- 2002 Winter Olympics (gold medal)
- 2004 World Championships (gold medal)
- 2004 World Cup (championship)
- 2010 Winter Olympics (gold medal)
Niedermayer was born in Edmonton, and spent three years of his youth in Cassiar, British Columbia where his father served as the town’s doctor. The family later settled in Cranbrook, British Columbia.
Niedermayer married his wife Lisa in 1998, after dating for six years. They have four sons: Logan (b. May 1999), Jackson (b. March 2001), Joshua (b. Feb 2004), Luke (b. June 2008).
Niedermayer is also relatively active politically and socially. A driver of a zero emission Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell electric car, Niedermayer has expressed his belief in global warming and is a supporter of the green-environment movement. He is currently serving as a Freshwater Ambassador for the conservation organization, WWF-Canada. Niedermayer is also a vocal supporter of PETA. Niedermayer took the Stanley Cup to the top of Fisher Peak in the East Kootenays after the New Jersey Devils Cup win.
Awards and achievements
- 1990–91 — WHL — West First All-Star Team (Kamloops Blazers)
- 1990–91 — CHL — Scholastic Player of the Year (Canadian major junior)
- 1991–92 — WHL — West First All-Star Team (Kamloops Blazers)
- 1992 — Memorial Cup — Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy (MVP)
- New Jersey Devils
- 1992–93 — NHL All-Rookie Team (defenceman)
- 1994–95 — Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils)
- 1997–98 — Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 1997–98 — NHL — Second All-Star Team (defenceman)
- 1999–2000 — Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils)
- 2000–01 — Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 2002 Winter Olympics – Won Olympic Gold with Team Canada
- 2002–03 — Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils)
- 2003–04 — Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 2003–04 — NHL — First All-Star Team (defenceman)
- 2003–04 — NHL — James Norris Memorial Trophy (Defenceman of the Year)
- Anaheim Ducks
- 2005–06 — First All-Star Team (defenceman)
- 2006–07 — Selected as Starter for NHL All-Star Game (but did not play)
- 2006–07 — NHL — Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP)
- 2006–07 — NHL — First All-Star Team (defenceman)
- 2006–07 — Stanley Cup (Anaheim Ducks)
- 2007–08 — Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 2008–09 — Played in NHL All-Star Game
- 2010 Winter Olympics – Won Olympic Gold with Team Canada
- 2011-12 – Number #27 retired by the New Jersey Devils