Niedermayer still unsure of return

first_imgIt’s hard to see how that won’t happen. As the Ducks prepare to defend their championship, they won’t know when, or if, they will be joined by Niedermayer, who won playoff MVP honors last season. The Ducks open their season with a two-game series against the Kings in London on Sept. 29-30. Niedermayer won’t be there, and estimated that he would need four weeks of training to be game-ready. Instead, Niedermayer will sit out training camp and early-season games and wait to see if he still feels the desire to play. Niedermayer said he doesn’t consider this a “test retirement,” even if that’s how it sounds. “Hopefully once things get rolling here, I’m going to get a better feeling of whether I need to be on the ice or not,” Niedermayer said. “It’s a big commitment, and right now I just don’t feel that I have the energy and am willing to make that commitment to start camp.” General Manager Brian Burke said he wanted to dispel any notions that Niedermayer was creating difficulty for the Ducks or his teammates, but he didn’t want to create any false hope that Niedermayer’s going to play a partial season. “Right now, we’re starting without him,” Burke said. “If he wants to come back, that’s great news.” Officially, the Ducks will suspend Niedermayer, in order to preserve his roster spot and get relief from his $6.75-million salary. If Niedermayer decides to return, however, he will be welcomed back and the Ducks will have to make room on the roster and cut enough salary to fit him under the cap. There’s another factor. Veteran wing Teemu Selanne is also undecided about playing this season and reportedly has tied his future plans to Niedermayer’s decision. “Both players deserve and are entitled to some patience on our part,” Burke said. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NHL: Ducks may wait until midseason for playoff MVP’s decision. By Rich Hammond STAFF WRITER Scott Niedermayer will either retire or become hockey’s version of Roger Clemens. Niedermayer, who captained the Ducks to their first Stanley Cup championship last season, has yet to decide whether he will return for a 15th NHL season, even though training camp begins on Tuesday. The situation might not be resolved soon. Niedermayer, who turned 34 last week, held a press conference Thursday morning and said he leaned toward retirement earlier, but remains undecided. “It’s 50-50 until I make it 100-0,” Niedermayer joked. Niedermayer ruled out nothing, including a midseason return – a la Clemens with the New York Yankees – or sitting out the entire season and returning next year. Niedermayer, whose brother Rob is a Ducks winger, gave no timetable for a decision. “It’s sort of unfortunate that a decision has taken this long for me to make,” Niedermayer said. “It’s definitely become harder than I envisioned. The last thing I want to become is a distraction.” last_img read more