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The Niedermayer Brothers Together Again

By Alan Adams

PRAGUE – They went their separate ways about 15 years ago and here they are back together for the first time since then at the World Hockey Championship.

Brothers Scott and Rob Niedermayer are relishing the fact they’re going for gold together in the 16-team tournament.

Rob was one of the first players named to Canada’s roster. The season was over for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and he answered the call when he was asked to play for his country.

Scott joined the team after the New Jersey Devils were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs. Rob helped with the recruiting and when he called his brother asking him to come to the Czech capital, the answer was one of those no-brainers.

“It is a big thrill and it was pretty nice when he took the call and said he was going to come over,” said Rob. “It is a great feeling.”

“I guess he was not going to take no for an answer,” said Scott.The Niedermayers are from Cranbrook, B.C., and they played together every second year. Scott was born in 1973 and Rob was born the next year.
The last time they were on the same team was in bantam in Castlegar, B.C.
“I have always thought about playing on the same team in the NHL as him and that would be a great thrill,” says Rob. “Something like this does not come along very often and it is nice to have. This is nice to share this experience and it is a lot of fun.”

Last year, the brothers faced each other in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and Scott’s New Jersey Devils beat Rob’s Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 7 games.
“I would love to see him win a Stanley Cup and it would be a pretty neat thing for him to accomplish,” says Scott. “It was tough to take one away from him when he got that far but it was fun and it is something we will remember for a long time.”

The brothers see each other in the off-season but they haven’t talked about the 2003 Stanley Cup final as yet.

“I am sure as time goes by we will talk about it and remember different things about the series and what not,” says Scott. “I have been there before where you are in a Game 7 and you lose. You put a lot of effort and sacrifice to get that far and to come up not much short of winning the Stanley Cup is not fun.”
Rob is a hard-working centre who plays a gritty game. He’s not as fluid a skater as his brother but there are few players in the world who have wheels like Scott has.

“He is pretty hard to check our there because he is so hard to catch,” says Rob. “I like playing on the same team rather than against him. He is a hard enough guy to check and I know from playing against hum how hard it is. This is a lot better.”

Scott is up for the Norris Trophy which goes to the NHL’s top defenceman. Besides his three Stanley Cup rings with the Devils, he also has an Olympic gold medal from 2002. And should he mine gold at the world championship, he will join a select group of 13 players who have the Cup, Olympic gold and world championship on their resume. Scott also has a world junior gold medal.
“That is why I am here to help Team Canada win,” says Scott. “But to become one of those guys, I am not thinking a lot about that. It is a team game ands that is where the focus is.”

Rob is still looking for a championship, and he hopes to get back to the Stanley Cup final one day.

“We came close last year and this year was a bit of a disappointment but hopefully we will be able to get there and win I next time,” he said. “Scott is good about it. He has won a lot of things and he just encourages me and he does not say too much.”

But for the moment, all that matters is a world championship gold medal.
“It would be pretty special to win it with him,” said Rob.

 

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