Just in from Newark: The New Jersey Devils have retired the No. 27 uniform number long worn by defenceman Scott Niedermayer. The honor is well-deserved.
I’m primarily a baseball fan and the overwhelming majority of my posts reflect that. But I’ve long been a hockey fan, and I was never more so than in the years I lived in New Jersey. I moved to Summit in 1999, just as the Devils were about to start their drive to the 2000 Stanley Cup. They won again in 2003, and I was rabidly attentive to the team for the duration.
Niedermayer is the third Devil to have his uniform retired, following fellow blue-liners Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko. As I think back on those great seasons a decade ago, I’m amazed at the talent the Devils had skating in front of goalie Martin Brodeur.
Although I think it’s just plain wrong for the NHL season to stretch nearly to the summer solstice, hockey was never more compelling than when I followed all those long playoff stretches as Niedermayer & Co. drove toward the cup.
Congratulations, Scott Niedermayer. Well played.