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Scott Niedermayer Hangs Up the Skates

There has been plenty of speculation on whether Scott Niedermayer’s hockey playing days were over. He took some time to think about it saying that he was leaning more towards one side, but never said what his decision was. At 1 p.m. Pacific time today, Scott Niedermayer officially announced his retirement from the NHL after 18 seasons spent with the New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks.

It’s hard to put into words how much Scott Niedermayer has accomplished in his long and successful NHL career. He is a man who has won 4 Stanley Cups, 1 Norris Trophy, 1 Conn Smythe Trophy, 2 Olympic Gold medals, and that’s not even everything. Niedermayer is without a doubt a shoe-in for the Hockey Hall of Fame in the future.

Simply put: words cannot do Scott Niedermayer career justice. He was not only one of the best defensemen to ever lace up the pair of skates, but Scott Niedermayer was a natural-born leader that every team he ever played for was lucky to have. His individual accomplishments say a lot, but winning Stanley Cups and Olympic Gold are no coincidence. He was a player that had success everywhere he went because of his defensive skills and leadership abilities.

There are many words that can be used to describe Scott Niedermayer: defenseman, warrior, veteran, captain, leader, and winner are just a few. Those words don’t define Scott Niedermayer. Scott Niedermayer has had such an illustrious career that he, himself, defines each and every one of those above words.

The NHL is not the same without Scott Niedermayer playing. His impact was so greatly felt. He set the path for future defensemen and leaders to follow. Young players have always looked up to him, and even though his playing career may be over, future hockey players will continue to model themselves after Niedermayer.

Anytime a player like Scott Niedermayer announces his retirement, it is expected to be a sad day for both the player and hockey fans.  But we have to respect Niedermayer for his decision. At 36 years old as a father of four boys he feels that it is the right time to hang up the skates. We can always look back on his accomplishments and look forward to the day that he is officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Scott Niedermayer’s speech today was nothing short of class. It is another reason to always remember him for not only the great hockey player that he was but the great person that he still is. He thanked everyone from fans to the media and from his teammates to team trainers. It was no surprise to see him choke up when he thanked his family. I’m sure many fans were left teary eyed. I will admit that I was.

The saddest part is that so far this spring and summer we have seen Keith Tkachuk, Rob Blake, and Scott Niedermayer announce their retirement, and we may see Teemu Selanne and Mike Modano do the seem. These are all hockey legends that we hate to see retire, but we have plenty of young superstars to enjoy watching like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, and Alex Ovechkin to name a few.

Thank you Scott Niedermayer for 18 seasons of outstanding hockey. You truly were a special type of player.

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