Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rob Niedermayer: Two Jersey Cards

One thing that's cool about follow-up sets is when they put the effort to make a player collectable by showing him wearing different uniforms on the cards, such as these two cards of Rob Niedermayer from Upper Deck:
The card on top, showing him wearing the Mighty Ducks Of Anaheim's white (then-home) jersey with a matching swatch is from the 2005-06 Series 1 set (card #J-RN), while the bottom one, showing him in the Mighty Ducks' purple and teal (away) uniform with a teal swatch is from the follow-up 2005-06 Series 2 collection (card #J2-NI). The cards themselves kept the same design and colour scheme, but to show the alternate captain wearing both uniforms, I thought, was a nice touch.

One can safely say that Rob was more of a grinder than his brother Scott Niedermayer, who was a superstar and Hall Of Famer, yet Rob ended up being the type of team player you want to make a deep run. He started on that trend by winning gold with Team Canada at the World Juniors (1993), and helped his Florida Panthers to a Stanley Cup Finals in 1996 (where they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche), in his third NHL season.

After a short stint with the Calgary Flames, he was sent to the Mighty Ducks and made it to the Finals in his very first season there as well, this time losing to his brother's New Jersey Devils. He spent 6 seasons in Anaheim, where he did win the Cup - with brother Scott in tow - in 2007, three years after the siblings won gold together at the 2004 World Championships. The shut-down line Rob formed with Samuel Pahlsson and Travis Moen was essential to the Ducks beating the Ottawa Senators that year- as well as the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks in previous rounds.

After his time with the then-Anaheim Ducks, Rob spent a season in New Jersey, and another with the Buffalo Sabres, before heading to Switzerland for a final 14 games in 2011-12, with the storied HC Lugano, a seven-time league champion team established in 1941.

Never flashy, he passed the 40-point mark just twice in his career, with 61 (off a career-high 26 goals) in 1995-96, and 51 in 1998-99 (off second-best goals total, 18) - both times with the Panthers. He's the type of player I could see making a fine assistant coach in the AHL or NHL, or head coach in Juniors.

No comments:

Post a Comment