Scott Niedermayer is a paragon of a solid, offensive defenseman. He has proven himself in all levels of hockey. With four Stanley Cups rings along with a several gold medals, he retired from the game in June ’10. After spending 13 seasons with the New Jersey Devils and merely five with the Ducks, the British Columbia native decided to lay down his roots in Orange County, Ca after retirement.
Since then he has finally spent quality time with his family along with working with players on both of the Anaheim Ducks‘ AHL team — formerly the Norfolk Admirals and now the Syracuse Crunch— and gladly acted as a consultant to general manager Bob Murray. It goes to say that Scotty is the jack of all trades whether he is on or off the ice.
As the lockout came to an abrupt end, there were sightings of the ex-Duck skating the ice with his former teammates. After seeing those pictures of the scruffy defenseman, it came to no surprised that yesterday the Ducks announced that he will be an assistant coach for the club.
Niedermayer doesn’t have any coaching experience and he never even fathomed of becoming one, but things change:
“I don’t think I could have predicted that when I was a player. I probably couldn’t predict this when I was a player. I’m excited about the chance to try and help.”
Niedermayer is going to play a huge, intricate role with the Ducks’ young defense with Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa. Not only should the young players feel grateful to have such a remarkable former player as their mentor, but so should the rest of the veterans who can only improve with the teachings of Niedermayer. Scotty isn’t going to just make an impact on the Ducks’ defense. He will play an influential role with everyone in the locker room; especially the ones who he has played with before like Teemu Selanne, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan. All who are looking for a spark after a lackluster performance last season.
The Ducks were lucky to have such a player wear their jersey and, now, guide them in a coaching role. Scotty has already taught the team his winning ways in ’09 when he led the team to its first Stanley Cup championship and now he can continue his leadership role as he tries to teach the team the way to win again. Niedermayer may not be in attendance for every road trip and he won’t be behind the bench at most games, but that’s not what matters the most.
There aren’t many highly decorated hockey players in the history of the sport that are of Niedermayer’s caliber. Scotty’s presence during practice and rare bench appearance are more than what most teams can say they have.
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