The will he/won't he wait is over. Unfortunately, it is for good this time.
Scott Niedermayer, considered one of the best defensemen of the last two decades, has finally decided to hang up his skates.
Announcing his retirement in a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Niedermayer has made the decision to step away from the NHL and professional hockey to spend more time with his family.
While his career didn't end on a particularly high note, his overall performance from start to finish was above and beyond one of the greatest from a defenseman—ever.
No one has done what Niedermayer has accomplished: four Stanley Cups, a Norris Trophy, a Conn Smythe winner, and International Championships at various levels, including a gold medal as Canada's captain in Vancouver this past February.
Niedermayer knew what it took to be a winner and he made champions out of those around him. The captain of the Anaheim Ducks, Niedermayer was a leader both on and off the ice. This was evident to those who played with him and to those who watched him with such admiration.
His ability to move up and down the ice was flawless and his instinct on the blue line was remarkable. Niedermayer was a silent leader, one who led by example.
For many hockey fans, his victories on the ice are more than memorable—they are unforgettable. For Ducks fans, he is the reason for the Stanley Cup in 2007.
Of the many years Niedermayer played in the NHL, only five were with Anaheim. To have only five games with Niedermayer would have been a blessing to any franchise.
Where there is so much to be said about an amazing athlete and a stellar hockey player, I am ultimately at a loss for words when it comes to Niedermayer's retirement.
The Anaheim Ducks are losing more than an All-Star defenseman. They're losing an amazing captain and leader, a class act unlike any other in the NHL, a fan favorite, and ultimately the backbone of their defense.
The Scott Niedermayers are few and far between in terms of talent and genuine character.
On the bright side of things, Niedermayer has agreed to stay on as a consultant with the organization.