After the 2012 Hall of Fame class induction wrapped up on Monday, the natural question pivoted to: who’s next?
Former New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer will be eligible for a possible first-ballot nod in 2013, and while many an induction is just a matter of time, he was very humble about the idea when asked by NHL.com.
“People bring it up to me. I try not to think about it. If it happens, it happens. I’ll deal with it then,” Niedermayer said. “It would be a heck of an honor. That type of thing is obviously out of my control. We’ll wait and see.”
His NHL resume alone is staggering: five All-Star nods, a Conn Smythe, one Norris Trophy and four Stanley Cup victories in 18 sterling seasons.
Sounds like a shoo-in, although he’s currently getting the third amount of votes from PHT readers – behind Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan – in an ongoing poll for potential 2013 inductees. (You can still vote here.)
With all that in mind, the modesty almost seems by-the-book, but Niedermayer indicates that’s just the way he works.
“That’s just my personality. I’m a guy who likes to go about my business and let things fall where they may,” Niedermayer said. “I think that’s how I played the game. Probably not going to change my stripes now that I’m not playing.”
As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.
Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.
Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.
That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.
Per NHL.com, Stamkos took the warmup and participated in line rushes centering Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan.
It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.
To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.
Steve Stamkos took the team bus to tonight’s Eastern Conference Game 7 in Pittsburgh. As TVA noted, it was the first time he’s arrived early for a game in these playoffs.
In his pregame presser, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper refused to answer any questions about Stamkos’ availability.
And then Stamkos took the warmup.
As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.
“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”
No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.
EDINA, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise has been rehabilitating his back injury without surgery, putting him on track to be at full strength by September.
Parise said Thursday he’s “happy with the way everything’s going.” He said he’s been able to work out as he normally does during the summer, despite missing the playoffs because of the injury.
Parise said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready to play for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey tournament.
Parise joined teammates Erik Haula, Jason Pominville, Nate Prosser, Jared Spurgeon and Jason Zucker at an autograph signing to raise money for people affected by the wildfires in Alberta. The parents of Spurgeon’s wife, Danielle, lost their home to a fire in the Edmonton area.