Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Niedermayer to test Open Market
The agent for New Jersey defenceman Scott Niedermayer doesn't expect the Norris Trophy winner to sign a new deal with the Devils before the end of the week.
Niedermayer earned $4-million in 2003-04. Last summer, he went to salary arbitration and was awarded $7-million for the season which was wiped out by the lockout.
"The whole process of last season and going to arbitration was to see what's out there," agent Kevin Epp tells the New York Post.
Epp says he expects Niedermayer to get offers near the salary maximum of $7.8-million and that he likely won't return to New Jersey at a discount.
Niedermayer was on TSN's Off the Record on Monday and said he fully expected to join the free agent market, which opens on August 1.
"I made my mind up to go through this process," he said. "If I can make a decision now, I can make one next week. I see no reason to rush a decision."
When asked what he would do if presented with a max offer from the Devils, Niedermayer stuck to his guns.
"If that were the case, I would definately continue this path (toward free agency) ... I'm going to continue with that. If (Devils GM Lou Lamoriello) makes an offer, hopefully it will still be there after (August 1)."
Niedermayer said family considerations would be important when choosing his final destination. He did not want to discuss specific teams, but admitted Vancouver is attractive because he and his wife are both from Western Canada.
"It's an exciting time," Niedermayer said.
-Thanks to www.tsn.ca for report