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Ducks defenceman Scott Niedermayer still leaning towards retirement

Niedermayer, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after leading the Ducks to the Stanley Cup title last month, has two more years at US$6.75 million per season.

"I felt we had a decent chance at trying to win a Stanley Cup," Niedermayer said Sunday during a conference call from his home in Cranbrook, B.C."And I guess I though that after that happened or if it did happen I would consider retirement."

When asked if he was strongly leaning towards retirement, Niedermayer responded: "That's a fair word, for sure."

The Ducks took the first step in preparing for Niedermayer's possible departure Sunday, signing unrestricted free agent Mathieu Schneider to an $11.25-million, two-year deal.

Niedermayer turns 34 on Aug. 31 and began his NHL career at age 19, and perhaps at this point he feels he's got nothing else to play for. He's the only player in hockey history to have won the six championships any Canadian-born player cares about: Stanley Cup, Memorial Cup, world junior gold, men's world gold, Olympic gold, and a World Cup of Hockey title.

He has also captured a Norris Trophy as the league's top defenceman to boot.

Furthermore, the Ducks' championship came alongside his brother Rob, fulfilling a lifelong dream. It also gave Scott Niedermayer four Stanley Cup titles after winning three in New Jersey.

Niedermayer, New Jersey's first choice, third overall in the 1991 NHL entry draft, has racked up 608 points (140 goals, 468 assists) in 1,053 career regular-season games - including a career-high 69 points (15-54) in 79 games this past season. He also added 11 points (3-8) in 21 playoff games, giving him 86 career points (22-64) in 183 career games.



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