Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Scott Niedermayer Autograph Card

As I've mentioned in the previous post, I wasn't sure what angle to take when it comes to this player. On one hand, his achievements should speak for themselves; many view him as one of the best defensemen of all time. On the other, he's never had to prove himself on his own, as he always had a supporting cast of superstars to make him look good. So I decided to have it both ways: one post full of positive achievements (this one), and one that concentrates more on a few of his shortcomings.

First of all, not everyone gets drafted in the first round; it's even harder to make it to the top-3. He has. And it's even more difficult, at #3, to have better careers than both guys who were taken before you. Chosen after Eric Lindros and Pat Falloon, Scott Niedermayer has certainly done just that.

Drafted just fresh of a World Junior Championships gold medal, Niedermayer took his momentum to the 1992 Memorial Cup, where he gathered both the trophy with his team, and the tournament's MVP award (the Stafford Smythe Memorial trophy). Then he made the NHL All-Rookie team for 1992-93 (despite losing the Calder trophy to future teammate Teemu Selanne).

In 1994-95, he and the New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup, riding Claude Lemieux and Martin Brodeur's coattails to the title against the Detroit Red Wings. He'd win another one with the Devils in 1999-00, and one with the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07.

In international play, he holds a World Junior gold (1991), a World Junior disappointment (1992), World Cup gold (2004) and silver (1996) medals, Olympic gold (2002), and World Championship gold (2004).

In that regard, he is thought to be the only player to hold all meaningful North American team titles, although I think his missing the AHL's Calder Cup should account for something.

He is also the only defenseman to have won the Norris trophy other than the Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom between 2001 and 2008 (he won it in 2004).

He has played in 4 All Star games, but was named to 5 (he didn't play in the 2006-07 All Star game).

This card is from Upper Deck's 2008-09 Be A Player collection and shows the Anaheim Ducks' jersey prominently; the autograph is from a black sharpie on a transparent sticker that was put on the card.

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