In 2007, when Anaheim Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer passed the Stanley Cup to his younger brother and Ducks teammate Rob, heart strings were tugged across Canada. Most understood the significance of the moment—they’d grown up playing the game together and then battled one another on opposing sides in the 2003 Cup Final—but few could appreciate how deep family and hockey truly ran in the Niedermayer household.

Niedermayer considers this “pretty amazing moment” to be the highlight of his storied 20+ year career. That truly says something, considering the man ranked among the NHL’s all-time greatest defensemen managed to win every major North American and international championship available to him and remains the only player in hockey history to accomplish this remarkable feat.

In no particular order, Niedermayer’s championship resume includes the following: 1991 world junior championship; 1992 Memorial Cup; 2004 IIHF world championship; 2004 World Cup of Hockey; four Stanley Cup championships; and two Olympic gold medals, in 2002 and 2010. The latter, of course, came captaining Canada to dramatic overtime gold on home soil in Vancouver.

Born in Edmonton and raised in Cranbrook from age three on, Niedermayer learned the game in Kootenay rinks and ponds alongside brother Rob. Their father served as team manager and occasionally doctor. Their mother was a power skating instructor in town and surely some of Niedermayer’s amazing skating ability can be attributed to early lessons with mom. Frank Spring, Peter Leeman, and Len Bousquet proved key coaches through minor hockey. Niedermayer enjoyed watching the great Oilers teams of the 1980s, but “the NHL seemed like a whole other world, something we only dreamt about.”

That dream began to grow closer when Ken Hitchcock and Bob Brown, coach and general manager of the Kamloops Blazers, approached Niedermayer at age 16 to come play major junior in the Western Hockey League. Besides Hitchcock, Niedermayer would hone his game under an impressive cast of future NHL coaches in Tom Renney, Don Hay, and Ed Dempsey. In three WHL seasons, Niedermayer helped the Blazers to two Memorial Cup appearances, winning the Cup in 1992 as tournament MVP.

Drafted 3rd overall by New Jersey in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, Niedermayer played 12 seasons with the Devils, reaching four Stanley Cup Finals and winning three—1995, 2000, and 2003. In 2004, with fellow Devils defenseman Scott Stevens injured, Niedermayer wore the team captaincy, won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman, and was named to the NHL’s first all-star team, his first of three all-star team appearances.

Niedermayer joined brother Rob in Anaheim in 2005 and five of his most productive NHL seasons ensued, highlighted by a career-high 15-goal, 69-point effort in 2006-07.

Niedermayer captained the Ducks to his fourth Stanley Cup that season and earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable playoff performer. He retired after the 2009-10 season with 740 points in 1263 NHL regular season games.

Recently inducted into both Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Hockey Hall of Fame, as well as having his jersey numbers retired by the Blazers and Devils, Niedermayer currently serves as an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks.

Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.