Anaheim Ducks' Offseason: Two Key Veteran Signings

Lorenzo ReynaCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2009

DETROIT, MI - MAY 1:  Scott Niedermayer  #27 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the Detroit Red Wings during Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 1, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Even at the combined age of 73, two veteran players have helped the Anaheim Ducks' offseason progress.

Resigning valuable 35-year old defenseman Scott Niedermayer (photo) to a one-year contract on Wednesday helped make Teemu Selanne's choice of returning to the Ducks feel more comfortable.

It was announced through the Los Angeles Times that Selanne, 38, will return to the Ducks back on June 28. Niedermayer was re-signed this past Wednesday. 

The move to bring back Niedermayer brought gratitude for Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray.

"Keeping Scott Niedermayer in an Anaheim Ducks' jersey was paramount for our club," Murray said. "We're extremely pleased he's chosen to remain with us and look forward to another great season from a Hall-of-Fame-bound player."

Niedermayer finished last season by not missing a single game. He played in all 82 games, collecting 59 points with 70 penalty minutes (PIM).

He finished the regular season ranked third among National Hockey League defensemen in both points and assists. He averaged nearly 27 minutes on the ice.

Last season, he became the Ducks' all-time leading scorer among defensemen after recording his 171st point against Chicago on Dec. 3.

He now has 216 points with Anaheim.

In 13 Stanley Cup playoff games, Niedermayer earned three goals and seven assists, for 10 points with 11 PIM. He tied for third among team leaders in scoring.

Niedermayer expressed his thoughts on returning to Anaheim through a news release on July 1.

"I'm excited to continue my career with the Ducks," Niedermayer said. "I still enjoy the game and feel the opportunity to win is right here in Anaheim. I feel excited just to be part of the club. I feel we can be competitive and get ourselves to the playoffs again and see what happens."

Niedermayer will look to chase his second Stanley Cup title with the Ducks. He helped lead Anaheim to their first title in 2007.

He's also won the coveted NHL trophy with the New Jersey Devils three times, being awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2007. Niedermayer is a four-time Stanley Cup Champion.

Selanne expressed his excitement about teaming-up with one of the Ducks' top defensemen in a statement through the Los Angels Times.

"(It) made my decision easier," Selanne said. "It's clear that we want to win this year and not five years from now. If they wanted to start rebuilding, I wouldn't be interested."

Selanne will be appearing in his 17th NHL season, 10th with Anaheim. He became the teams' all-time leading scorer on Feb. 17 against the Calgary Flames.

He has appeared in 10 NHL All-Star games and won his first Stanley Cup title with the Ducks in 2007.

He is fourth among active players in goals scored with 552 in his career.

Both men will return to a Ducks' team that upset the top-seeded San Jose Sharks in the NHL playoffs. The Ducks would then get eliminated by eventual Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings.

After a smart draft and a notable trade involving Chris Pronger for Joffrey Lupul, bringing both veterans back in Anaheim has given Niedermayer optimism for next season.

"I'm excited. I believe we have a lot of talent on our team," Niedermayer said in a news release. "I'm excited and comfortable with our team."