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Superstar Scott Niedermayer continues to mull over retirement decision

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Superstar Scott Niedermayer continues to mull over retirement decision

The Canadian Press
By:

In the meantime the hockey world awaits word.

"He says there's no rush to make it, so that's maybe why the situation is a little strange," Niedermayer told The Canadian Press in an interview Tuesday. "But I'm trying to do the right thing, respect his wishes, and make the proper decision. He's given me that time and I'm very thankful for not having to be forced into anything."

At first the plan was for the 33-year-old Niedermayer to inform Burke of his decision close to the July 1 start of free agency so the Ducks could try to replace him if he retired. Niedermayer told Burke early on July 1 that he was leaning towards retirement so the GM turned around and signed free-agent blue-liner Mathieu Schneider.

Niedermayer then held a media conference call the night of July 1 that didn't exactly clear up the confusion, saying that while he was indeed "leaning" towards retirement he hadn't yet made up his mind. That's because Burke told him to take his time.

"He's put me in a good situation as far as that goes. So that's sort of where I'm at," said Niedermayer.

He says he hasn't talked to Burke much since July 1, busy with his brother Rob Niedermayer's wedding and tending to other affairs.

"But I imagine here in the next week or two we'll probably talk to each other again and probably see where things are at," Niedermayer said.

"As far as the time table, I don't really have one," added this year's Conn Smythe Trophy winner as NHL playoff MVP. "Obviously a decision has to be made by the time training camp rolls around. That's fairly obvious. I guess that gets closer every day."

His agent Kevin Epp figures it'll probably be late summer before a final decision comes.

"I think he's going to reserve judgement until he gets back to Anaheim and talks to Brian at the end of August, beginning of September," Epp told CP on Tuesday.

The news that Niedermayer was contemplating retirement broke a few weeks after he led the Ducks to their first-ever Stanley Cup, and came as a shock to both Burke and the rest of the NHL.

It continues to be a tough call.

"Yeah it's difficult for lots of reasons," Niedermayer said. "Obviously the blatant one is the fact I've been doing this a long time. It's been great. Hockey has been very good to me in many ways. There's lots of things that make it a tough decision.

"But I'm pretty confident that when the time comes around I will make the right one."

Niedermayer, who has two more years on his contact at US$6.75 million per season, turns 34 on Aug. 31 and has plenty left in the tank. But he's also won it all. He's the only player in hockey history to have won the six major championships for Canadian players: Stanley Cup, Memorial Cup, world junior gold, IIHF World Championship gold, Olympic gold, and a World Cup of Hockey title.

And he also fulfilled a lifelong dream when he won the Cup this spring alongside his brother Rob.

Niedermayer, New Jersey's first choice, third overall in the 1991 NHL entry draft, has racked up 608 points (140 goals, 468 assists) in 1,053 career regular-season games - including a career-high 69 points (15-54) in 79 games last season. He also added 11 points (3-8) in 21 playoff games, giving him 86 career points (22-64) in 183 career games.

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Superstar Scott Niedermayer continues to mull over retirement decision