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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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59