It's been a relatively quiet day around Devils-related social media in regards to the Hall of Fame induction of Scott Niedermayer.
Whether it's that he's a thing of the past, or people don't forgive him for leaving, his induction on Monday night is exactly what he deserves. The four-time Stanley Cup champion was not only a great Devil, but one of the best defensemen in NHL history.
Games played: 1263
Total Points: 740
Career plus/minus - plus-167
- Norris Trophy - 2003-2004 Season
- 5 time all star (1998, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2009)
- 4 time Stanley Cup champion (1995, 2000, 2003 w/ NJ, 2007 w/ Anaheim)
- 2 time Olympic Gold Medal winner (2002, 2010)
There's no denying the greatness of Niedermayer. He was the kind of player that could do just about everything possible to help his team win. Whether it was playing tight defense back in the old "trap" days, or leading an odd-man rush or a power play; his skill set was simply unrivaled.
His offensive numbers don't exactly jump off the charts, but a lot of that has to to with playing in the type of system that the Devils used. If he had played somewhere else for much of his career, his skill alone would have allowed for a lot more points in a open system.
Though his career was filled with great moments, there is one that will always stand out for Devils fans. In Game Two of the 1995 Finals against Detroit, the Devils were trailing 2-1. Niedermayer got the puck in his own zone and the rest was history.
This goal was such an excellent individual effort, as he knifed through the entire Red Wings defense and then followed up his own shot to tie the game at two. I believe that was the turning point for the series. Once the Devils tied it up, they never really looked back.
He brought that kind of skill to this team for his entire tenure. The former third-overall pick in 1991 was never flashy, never boasting or yelling at the opposing team. All he did was go out and get the job done, night-in and night-out.
Scott was a winner everywhere he went. To go along with his four Stanley Cup rings and two gold medals, he won a world championship as well. He was a perfect fit for the Devils. He could play a shutdown style of defense, but knew perfectly when to jump into the rush. He was unselfish and never complained about a system that probably gave him far fewer offensive opportunities than he would have liked.
No one should still be bitter towards Scott for leaving to play with his brother in Anaheim; it's time to get over it. No.27 was an incredible Devil, a once-in-a-generation find in terms of his skill set. In twenty years as an NHL player, he left a lasting impact on the game.
There are three numbers that sit atop Prudential Center. It's a true testament to his years of service and monumental amount of success in red and black.