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Stevens on Niedermayer: 'An outstanding player'

Tuesday, 07.9.2013 / 4:24 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Stevens on Niedermayer: \'An outstanding player\'

Former Devils defenseman Scott Stevens won three Stanley Cups alongside Scott Niedermayer, who on Tuesday was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2013. Stevens, who was inducted into the Hall in 2007, spoke about Niedermayer entering hockey's shrine.

Stevens with Niedermayer at Niedermayer's number retirement in 2011.
What was your reaction to the Scott being named to the Hall?
Stevens: It was just a matter of when he was eligible. From the day he retired, there was no question in anyone's mind in hockey that he would be a first ballot and be in the Hockey Hall of Fame as soon as he reached that magic day – and that's come. It's very exciting. He was an outstanding player, he won at every level and it was fun to be his teammate.

When could you tell he was a special player?
I guess right away when you saw him. In camp, he was very young, but you could see the talent, you could see how great a skater he was. You pretty much knew from Day One when he arrived at camp that he was going to be a special player and had some special gifts and talents that a lot of players just would never have, obviously his skating being the most noticeable. He's probably one of the best skaters I've ever seen play the game.

Is there a moment in his career that stands out for you? Many would say the end-to-end goal in the 1995 Stanley Cup Final.
He scored a lot of big goals. One thing I remember, when they started the 4-on-4 in overtime, it was really exciting to watch him out there. A lot of times I didn't play much in that, but I had the opportunity to watch him. It was almost a given that he was either going to score a goal or create a goal with all that space and room out there 4-on-4. He took a lot of those games, when that time came, and got the W for the team. Just with his talent, you give him a little more room out there with his skating and he was very hard to contain. That's what I remember: because of the open ice, he usually got the job done, whether it was him scoring or him setting up a goal for the win.

As a Hall of Famer yourself, what's it like hearing your name called for the Hall of Fame?
You know what, I don't think you play the game to get to the Hall of Fame, you play to win Stanley Cups and championships. But when you start getting closer to the end of your career, I think you start thinking about it because you know you're not going to be [playing] much longer and you start thinking about that, 'Jeez, that would be nice to top things off to someday be a part of the Hockey Hall of Fame.' What better place to be recognized? I'm sure he's been thinking about that quite a bit. I'm sure he's very excited and I'm sure his family's excited. He's going to have a great time in Toronto [at the induction ceremony in November].

Will Pat Burns eventually get in?
I think so, yes. He won coach of the year [three] times, he won a Cup [with the Devils in 2003]. I would have to think yes. His record was outstanding and that Cup that was ever so elusive for him and that he wanted so dearly finally happened as Devils coach. I think that's going to put him into the Hall of Fame.

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 66 16 24 -1 40
M. Cammalleri 59 25 11 4 36
S. Gomez 49 7 23 -7 30
P. Elias 60 10 19 -16 29
S. Bernier 58 12 14 3 26
T. Zajac 65 10 12 -3 22
A. Larsson 55 3 18 2 21
A. Greene 73 3 17 4 20
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 53 6 11 -2 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 27 7 .928 2.17
K. Kinkaid 5 4 3 .919 2.42