Author Archives: thedevsdomain
Originally posted in September, 2011.
Welcome to the rafters of Prudential Center, #27! On Friday December 16th, Scott Niedermayer’s #27 will join Scott Stevens’ #4 and Ken Daneyko’s #3 as the only numbers retired in franchise history. Scott was a key component of the New Jersey Devils’ success for over a decade, which culminated with four Stanley Cup Finals appearances (1995, 2000, 2001, 2003) and three Stanley Cup Championships (1995, 2000, 2003). Scott’s value to the franchise is undeniable and will never be forgotten.
Niedermayer will undoubtedly be remembered for his stellar skating and offensive production. In 2003-2004 Scott scored 14 goals and added 40 assists, for a total of a whopping 54 points. After the conclusion of the season, Scott was named the winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy as Defenseman of the Year, becoming the first Devil to do so. Scott has won everything there is to win in hockey. In 1991 he won a gold medal at the World Junior Championships as a member of Team Canada. In 1992 he won the Memorial Cup as a member of the Kamloops Blazers, and was named MVP. He won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995, 2000 and 2003. Scott also won the Stanley Cup in 2007 as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, and won the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP. Scott won gold medals as a member of Team Canada in the 2002 and 2010 Olympics. He also was a member of the Team Canada squad that took gold in the 2004 World Championships, and a member of the 2004 World Cup winning Canada team. Forget “trophy case”, the Niedermayer household needs a trophy ROOM.
I am extremely excited about Scott’s jersey being retired, and will be in attendance at The Rock cheering loudly on the night of December 16. Please join me in applauding a true New Jersey Devils legend who has given so much to the organization.
What is your favorite Nieds’ moment?
A familiar face was in the New Jersey Devils training camp this September, that face being 34 year old veteran Petr Sykora. Long time fans will remember Petr from his first stint with the Devils that ran from 1995-2002. Sykora was 1/3 of the infamous “A-Line” which also featured Jason Arnott and fellow Czech and Devils all time leading scorer, Patrik Elias. The A-Line was one of the most productive lines in the NHL for a couple of seasons, culminating in a 2000 Stanley Cup Championship.
Petr was invited to camp this year and most onlookers viewed the invitation as a gesture of good will. The Devils organization has a long time tradition of looking after their players; both past and current, and none in the game give and have garnered more respect than Devils’ General Manager Lou Lamoriello. Many in hockey circles whispered that Sykora wouldn’t make the team which is seemingly loaded with forwards, many of them young and hungry. Well hockey pundits, looks like Petr is making you think twice. Sykora has been rejuvenated by his return to New Jersey, where he first served notice that he wanted to stick around by netting a hat trick in an intrasquad scrimmage game during training camp. Petr’s play in camp earned him a spot on the roster for some preseason games, where he recorded 2 goals and an assist. In Petr’s last couple of preseason games he has been skating on a line with longtime friend Patrik Elias at center and Zach Parise. Could we be watching A-Line 2.0 in the making? Most fans can’t help but feel nostalgic about seeing these guys playing together again nearly 10 years after Petr’s departure from New Jersey.
NHL players, coaches and General Managers alike will tell you that often a player’s shot is the last thing they lose. Petr certainly still has his and wants to be using it in the NHL this season. Has Petr done enough to earn a spot on the 2011-2012 New Jersey Devils roster? It appears so, but only time will tell. The fans and Petr alike will likely learn his fate at some point on Wednesday. If Sykora is here to stay, expect to see small waves of #17 jerseys around The Rock that do not have “KOVALCHUK” emblazoned on the back of them, but rather the name of an old friend, “SYKORA”.
Prediction: Sykora makes the roster and plays with Elias and Parise at times. He may be tried out on different line combinations to see where he fits and helps the team best. I also expect him to see some time on the 2nd power play unit throughout the season. Fifteen goals and 25 assists sounds like a great season for Petr Sykora!