Scott Niedermayer might not be the last New Jersey Devils defenseman to wear No. 27 – former Devil Mike Mottau oddly wore it after Niedermayer went to the Anaheim Ducks – but the team reportedly plans on retiring his number now that his playing days are over with the NHL.
The New Jersey Devils will reportedly raise former defenseman Scott Niedermayer’s No. 27 to the rafters of Prudential Center at some point this season.
Niedermayer, who won three Stanley Cups with the franchise and one more with the Anaheim Ducks before retiring this past offseason, was at the Honda Center on Friday night to watch the game between his two former teams. The Devils haven’t confirmed the news reported originally by the Newark Star-Ledger — it was a surprise to Niedermayer when he heard it — but some of his former Devils teammates were excited to hear it.
On some level, it’s a shame that Niedermayer isn’t sharing his smooth-skating prowess with us any more. Sure, he regressed a slight bit from the 2008-09 season to 09-10 (from 59 points to 48) and missed the playoffs last season.
That being said, the truth is that Niedermayer ended his career with his reputation intact; he was still one of the best defensemen in the NHL until the very end of his career. He’s an automatic Hall of Famer (a first ballot one, I would imagine) and was one of the pillars of three Stanley Cup winning Devils teams and one Cup winning Ducks squad.
It’s not official yet, but if those reports are true, then congratulations to Niedermayer. He deserves it.