Rob Niedermayer might not be anywhere near as talented as his brother Scott, but he’s been a player who can play a specialized role on a hockey team. As Earl Sleek of Battle of California said of Rob when he was a member of Anaheim Ducks, he’s an “All-Star” in tight areas – particularly against the boards.
If Tom Gulitti of the Fire & Ice blog’s report is correct, Rob Niedermayer is hoping to return to the New Jersey Devils for another season after briefly pondering retirement.
After the Devils were eliminated from the playoffs, Niedermayer, 35, said he wanted to take some time to “evaluate what I want to do going forward” as far as playing again or retiriing. After doing that, Niedermayer decided he does not want to retire and he’s already had some talks with general manager Lou Lamoriello about re-signing with the Devils.
“He definitely wants to play,” Epp told me. “He’s ready to go and we’ve had a couple of conversations with Lou. I guess Lou’s biggest challenge right now is finding a coach and getting that in order and then go at it from there.”
Niedermayer is scheduled to become an unresricted free agent on July 1 after signing a one-year, $1 million contract with the Devils on Sept. 25-just eight days before the team’s regular season opener. He seems to be in the same boat as the Devils’ other potential free agents, however, waiting for Lamoriello to pick a coach before he moves on to trying to re-sign players before July 1.
When you consider the fact that the Devils are potentially looking to trade for Tomas Kaberle, might they wonder if Scott Niedermayer would want to play on the same team as his brother Rob – and reunite with the team he played so many seasons with – again? Now, that would be an intriguing storyline, although I get the feeling that it’s the Ducks or retirement for the smooth-skating defenseman.