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?
After 11 seasons in the NHL, 37 year-old former New Jersey Devil Brian Rafalski announced that he will be retiring. With a couple of injuries and wanting to focus on his family, he decided it would be the best decision.
In 1999, Rafalski was named the best hockey player not playing in the NHL by the Sporting News. Later that year, the Devils signed him as a free agent. He was a pretty old rookie starting the 1999-2000 season at 26 years old, but he had four years of European hockey experience to back him up. He was paired up with Scott Stevens and played with other rookies, Scott Gomez, John Madden and Colin White. White remembers seeing Rafalski for the first time and thinking he had nothing to worry about when it came to the new small D-man standing at 5″10 and 195 lbs – until he saw him play. Rafalski led all rookie defensemen with a +21 rating, ended the season with 32 points and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. Oh, and he helped in winning a Stanley Cup, too.
Rafalski went on to win another Cup with the Devils in 2003 before being signed by the Detroit Red Wings in 2007 to a five year contract. In 2008, he was a part of another Stanley Cup winning team. The next year would mark his fifth trip to the Finals in nine seasons – pretty impressive.
Injuries got in his way this season. Rafalski was on the training table every day and said that it got pretty tiring and affected the way he played. This didn’t stop him from picking up 48 points in 63 regular-season games though.
In his career, he’s also picked up two Olympic silver medals playing on Team USA (2002, 2010) and has been selected for three NHL All-Star Games. With an overall of 79 goal and 436 assists, giving him 515 points in 833 career games, Rafalski is definitely going out on top with a Hall of Fame worthy career.
In case you didn’t know, May 6th is Martin Brodeur’s birthday. Here is the first of our Player Profile series featuring the birthday boy, Marty!
HEIGHT: 6′ 2″
BORN: MAY 6, 1972
BIRTHPLACE: MONTREAL, QC, CANADA
Canadian born Brodeur was picked up by the Devils in the NHL’s 1990 draft and started his first full season in 1993. During that season, Marty showed us what he was capable of and had a 2.40 Goals Against Average, 3 shutouts and won the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year.
Since then, he’s won all three Stanley Cups with the Devils, received the Vézina Trophy as the best goalie in the NHL – four times, received the William M. Jennings Trophy for goalkeeper with least number of goals given up – five times, and participated in 10 NHL All Star Games.
Marty has participated in the Olympics and won Gold in 2002 and 2010. His father, also a goalkeeper, won Bronze in the 1956 Olympics – like father, like son! He’s also played in the World Championship, winning Silver twice and has won Silver and Gold in two World Cup Championships.
Marty beat Patrick Roy’s record with his 552nd win in March of 2009. He currently holds this and several other NHL all time records, including most regular season shut outs (116) and most 30 win seasons (13).
He clearly has amazing talent, makes pretty incredible saves and has impressive puck handling skills. His ability to play the puck made him the main man responsible for the trapezoid behind the net – what has became known as the Martin Brodeur rule – put in place after the NHL lock out. He even has a game winning goal!
With his stats and list of records, it’s no wonder he has a rink in Saint Leonard, QC named after him and continues to be a fan favorite!
|2010-2011 Season Stats|
(I was there for this game, but this video never gets old!)