I know we are less than an hour away from a critical game versus the Kings however I wanted to make a post about something I've heard more and more of as of late and speak to why I believe it is a rare mistake by the Devils administration.
It only takes one quick glance at the current list of retired Devils (Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko) to realize that it takes a special type of person to be raised to the rafters of our arena. Both Stevens and Daneyko were involved in the critical building process which propelled this franchise into one of the bigger powerhouses of recent hockey history. Niedermayer, like Stevens and Dano, was also a component of the Devils rise to success and considering his contributions in New Jersey and internationally should deservedly be remembered as one of the greatest Devils of all time.
However I believe that the Devils are truly a special organization. Since we were born in 1982 we've won 9 Division Championships, 4 Conference Championships, and 3 Stanley Cups. We've made the playoffs 20 out of the last 22 seasons including each of the last 13. While our recent playoff performances do not speak for themselves, our statistics and the way other teams and their fans regard us do.
In keeping with the ideals that we truly are a world class organization I feel that the only players worthy of the honor of jersey retirement are those who end their illustrious career as a Devil. With the amount of respect this franchise commands and the reputation Lou has built for himself over the years, the Devils are not in a position where they need to go out of their way to appease or bring back anyone.
Comments by members of the Devils and Devils administration supportive of Niedermayer are enough to exhibit the amount of respect this organization has for this great former Devil however in my opinion the praise ends there.
It’s time for Lou to step away from this situation and establish a precedent that if you want to have your number raised in our home, in one of the most successful and lavished franchises in the past few decades, then you’re going to be here until the end of your career. The simple fact is that we are a young club with an already storied history and there are no signs of slowing down. It’s time Lou demonstrates that there simply isn’t enough room on our rafters to retire everybody.
No one will ever remove Scott Niedermayer’s name from the Devils roster on the Stanley Cup those three times nor will anyone ever be able to claim that Niedermayer, one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history and definite future hall-of-famer, didn’t grow and eventually flourish into leadership as a Devil.
The Devils recent playoff failures should not diminish the virtues and triumphs we have gone through. We are truly a world class organization and one that has only and should continue to only retire the names of those players who not only reap success during their time in New Jersey but retire here as well.