While reading the Phaneuf post, I started pondering the possibility of having a player, who was a huge part of the Devils defense in the past, back in the lineup: Scott Niedermayer. Looking back a few years and seeing one of the most well-rounded players in the league go “coast to coast” and put it in the back of the net was a sight any hockey fan would enjoy. Then, thinking Niedermayer seems too old (he looks like my great-uncle due to the 06-07 playoff beard) and probably engaged in a long-term contract, I stopped daydreaming. Just for fun, I checked out his age and how long he is on contract for and found something interesting: Niedermayer is 36 and is signed to a 1 year 6 million $ deal and does not have a no-trade clause included.
At the beginning of the summer, Lou contacted Niedermayer before he signed again with Anaheim. Although there wasn’t really an offer, the fact that Lou was interested at the beginning of the year suggests that there may be moves made before March 4th. Lou isn’t the type of GM to make big trades, but he might consider a move on this one, especially seeing as the Ducks are tied for dead last in the West. Anaheim might feel bringing new faces or racking up picks would do them some good. Signing Niedermayer at the end of the year would be a safe and conservative way of doing things, but he may be traded before then. Personally, I would be tempted to play it safe and wait for his contract to expire, although he might slip away
The possibility of Niedermayer rejoining the organization is very interesting. I don’t think he would play with Martin (they’re both left handed), but having two pairs of defensemen; one with Martin and the other with Niedermayer would be incredible. Checking Niedermayer’s stats (http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8458517), he is no Paul Coffey, but his value would be how he makes plays happen. His amazing skating creating openings and his proper defensive plays setting up counterattacks would boost other players’ performances leading to more goals for and less goals against. Niedermayer is an excellent leader having been the captain of both franchises he has ever played for (New Jersey and Anaheim). The devils are in good defensive shape already, but Niedermayer may be the last piece of the puzzle depicting a Stanley Cup.
With his wealth of playoff experience, the prospect of Niedermayer playing for New Jersey during the post-season would be daunting for other teams. Do you think Niedermayer would be a good addition to the club? Would you wait to sign (if so, for how much) or trade (for whom)? Let me know what you think about the post and the “Niedermayer Affaire”.