Anaheim Ducks retire Stanley Cup hero Scott Niedermayer's No. 27

It was a mighty tribute for one of the greatest Ducks of all-time.

The Anaheim Ducks retired Scott Niedermayer’s No. 27 Sunday night at the Honda Center, honoring the defenseman’s five-year run with the team. Niedermayer became the third Ducks player to have his number retired, joining Teemu Selanne (No. 8) and Paul Kariya (No. 9).

Selanne and Kariya were among those gathered on the ice to honor the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee.

“[Niedermayer] is the definition of grace under pressure, and is unquestionably the greatest champion of our generation,” Kariya said during the ceremony.

After a memorable 13-year run with the New Jersey Devils, Niedermayer joined the Ducks as a free agent during the summer of 2005. Despite a more lucrative offer from the Devils, Niedermayer elected to switch teams in pursuit of a Stanley Cup. The Ducks named Niedermayer team captain upon his arrival.

In his first season, the Ducks reached the Western Conference finals before being eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers. The following season, the Niedermayer-led Ducks defeated the Ottawa Senators in five games to capture the organization’s first Stanley Cup. Niedermayer won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason’s most valuable player.

Several of Niedermayer’s 2007 championship teammates made appearances, including Selanne J.S. Giguere, Chris Pronger Francois Beauchemin, Travis Moen, Brad May, Kent Huskins and his brother, Rob Niedermayer.

“Scott has had an amazing career and been a star player for the Ducks,” Scott’s younger brother said. “But for all his accomplishments on the ice, he’s an even better brother – and person – off the ice.”

An emotional Niedermayer diverted the attention to his former teammates for much of his speech. The 2004 James Norris Memorial Trophy winner ran down a list of his former Ducks teammates, praising their individual contributions.

“That is what makes hockey so great in my opinion,” he said. “You need your teammates to have success, you can’t go by yourself and have success. It takes all 23-25 guys to go out there and win a hockey game.

“It’s a special feeling sitting in the dressing room before a big game, knowing every guy in there is committed to one thing: Helping the team win.

“You know each guy in there is sacrificing some of themselves for the team and has your back no matter what.”

Niedermayer had won three Stanley Cups with the Devils before he signed with the Ducks. The six-time All-Star was the final piece for an organization that had been on the brink of championship status. The Cranbrook, B.C., native is the only player in hockey history to have won a combination of four Stanley Cups and two Olympic gold medals.

After five memorable campaigns in Anaheim, Niedermayer retired following the 2009-10 season as the Ducks’ all-time leader in goals (60), assists (204) points (264) and power-play goals (39) among defensemen. He was the first player in history to win a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal, World Championship, World Cup, Memorial Cup and World Junior title. 

“I want to thank everybody for making this night very special,” a smiling Niedermayer said to conclude his speech. “I will never forget it.”

Share if you enjoyed this post!

Source link