On November 12, Scott Niedermayer will make history, the first-ever kid from Cranbrook to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
(The decision to grant Niedermayer his bust and lifelong status as one of the game’s official greatest was made two days ago.)
Niedermayer will enter the hall with Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan, as well as female Geraldine Heaney and late builder Fred Shero. Each of the inductees was asked by the Toronto Star to give one memory from their career stands out. Niedermayer answered, but not necessarily the question:
“A lot of great people you meet, starting growing up in small town in B.C. playing pond hockey. You work your way up. Play in the NHL. Win championships for your country. Lots of fun moments with your teammates. On the road. Getting dressed in some little rink somewhere on the road. Pretty special feeling after you win a championship, sitting in a room, looking around and realizing the sacrifices your teammates have made to help the team win.”
So, he kind of just summed it up, that’s exactly what this list below will look like. It’s too hard to find individual example of why Niedermayer is completely deserving of the Hall – after all, his induction seems far too obvious to need a list of any kind.
Still, B.C.’s best-ever defenceman will join his fellow greats and contemporaries and offensive innovators from the back-end – Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, and his teammate Scott Stevens – in Toronto’s shrine to Canada’s game, and I thought he deserved some kind of publicity from this here website…
(*in no particular order)
We won gold in 2002 and 2010, but Niedermayer captained that Vancouver squad and was on the ice for Sidney Crosby’s overtime goal. Talk about an Olympic career coming full-circle.
Scott Niedermayer and goalie Martin Brodeur won two Olympic gold medlas and three Stanley Cups together in years between 1995 to 2010. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
That last Cup…
The grey beard. That time Daniel Alfredsson decided to shoot a puck at him and all of Canada was offended. His perfect partnership with Chris Pronger. Scott Niedermayer was somehow at his best in Anaheim, a team he came to to join his brother and found himself at the age of 18 again.
Not one moment, just many glimpses of one of the greatest skating defencemen of all-time, and one who will no doubt fade from the spotlight he deserves when Nicklas Lidstrom gets voted in a year or two.
Talk about a Stanley Cup debut. Niedermayer was only 21 when the Devils won the Cup in 2005.
By the way, that’s Paul Coffey he goes around there…
He does it again, this time to Ed Belfour (he’s not bad, either) and on the penalty kill. The Devils would win Game 6 – and the Stanley Cup – on Jason Arnott’s overtime goal.
His first NHL goal
Everyone has one. Few have one like this.
Don’t go thinking that Niedermayer was just some cherry-picking punk. He’s in the Hall of Fame because he was as sturdy and reliable as anyone on the back-end.
That’s also why he won four Stanley Cups and two gold medals but, you know…
He was also on the receiving end of one of the dirtiest plays in NHL history – courtesy of the always honourable Mr. Tie Domi – and never once complained about it: