Thursday, December 06, 2007

Niedermayer to Return

Well, it's finally going to happen. Hands up for those who are surprised... yeah, that's what I thought. Scott Niedermayer (non-pool) will return to the Ducks after the announcement was made last night before the Ducks/Sabres game. It's no longer a question of 'if,' but 'when?' Niedermayer has been skating over the last few weeks with some other ex-NHLers and will have to go through some conditioning (a mini training camp, if you will) and GM Brian Burke does expect Niedermayer to be ready within the next two weeks.

Jeff held Scott Niedermayer up until the Waiver Draft, if you'd care to remember, but is now available to be picked up in 9 weeks or so, in the second Waiver Draft. Of course, his talents may be wasted amongst some of the poorer teams in the pool, so he will most likely have little or no effect on the money winning outcome of the pool this season... but he will more than likely finally take part in it.

The Ducks on the other hand may have some decisions to make when it comes to the salary cap. This will be me trying to sort it all out as I write this piece... it just sounds like more fun than actually having it in front of me. Now, by my count on my Master Player List, the active roster of 23 players that played against Buffalo last night has a salary total of $42 million. That's not too shabby. Chris Pronger (Marcus) is worth $6.25 million, J-S Giguere (Dale C.) is worth $5.5million and new acquisition Mathieu Schneider (John B.) is worth a cool $5.5 million. So, the remainder of Niedermayer's $6.75 million he will play for (saying that he joins the team on Monday of Week Thirteen... 47 games) will be easier to swallow come time.

That being said... room will have to be made for Niedermayer to fit onto the 23-man roster and to do that, a player will have to be shipped to the minors or traded away for picks/minor league depth. Obviously, the easy way to do it would be to send one of their defensemen on a two-way deal down, that way they don't have to pay their salary whilst paying Niedermayer's. Sadly, it doesn't look like the Ducks have a two-way defenseman. I would expect a deal that would send someone outside of the top 3 defense to make room. Yes, I would think that Francois Beauchemin (Dale C.) would be available for a pretty high draft pick package to the right bidder.

Below is the madness that is considered the 24-man roster that would have to be pared down to 23 come time for when Niedermayer returns.

Chris KunitzRyan GetzlafCorey Perry
Rob NiedermayerAndy McDonaldTodd Bertuzzi
Drew MillerSamuel PahlssonTodd Marchant
Travis MoenGeoff PlattGeorge Parros
Brad MayBrian Sutherby
Scott NiedermayerChris Pronger
Mathieu SchneiderFrancois Beauchemin
Kent HuskinsJoe DiPenta
Sean O'DonnellShane Hnidy
Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Jonas Hiller

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