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NHL Morning Papers: Is Niedermayer selfish?

Late yesterday afternoon, Scott Niedermayer informed the public that he has yet to make up his mind about whether he will return to the NHL for the 2007/08 season. Most hockey fans have been tossing in their two cents with regard to whether Niedermayer will return to the Ducks for the upcoming season or not. But before the four-time Stanley Cup winner decides one way or another, I think it is fair to ask whether Niedermayer is being selfish with his long drawn-out decision. For my money, the long-time New Jersey Devil is not holding his team hostage. After the Ducks defeated the Senators in the Cup final and Niedermayer subsequently announced he was taking time away from the game, the Ducks took necessary precaution by going out and signing arguably the most-talented defenseman on the open market (albeit an old talented defenseman) for the next two seasons. There is no doubt in my mind that Niedermayer informed Ducks’ General Manager Brian Burke that he was leaning towards retirement and to prepare the team accordingly. Additionally, if Niedermayer leaves open the possibility of a return, as he did yesterday, some say he is holding the Ducks’ salary cap situation hostage. But if that is the case, then for whom is he doing this? Who are the Ducks going to sign in the next little while that would upgrade their offense/defense even marginally? The answer is no one. The All-Star defenseman is taking this time to make the decision he feels is right for himself, and if anyone in the hockey world has earned the right to a protracted career decision, it is number 27.

On to the morning papers: