The most coveted defenceman in the free agent market finally found a home on Thursday, as veteran blueliner and 2004 Norris Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer has signed with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
The deal is for four years at $6.725 million US per season, while younger brother and new teammate Rob signed a four-year contract at $2 million US per season.
"Scott Niedermayer is one of the top defencemen in the game today whose skating, puck-moving ability and leadership qualities make him a great addition to our team," GM Brian Burke said in a statement.
"Rob has already proven his worth to the organization with his physical style of play, speed and versatility. He was a critical component to the team during the 2003 Stanley Cup playoff run."
"Since he was 15 and I was 16 we've been part playing hockey and now we're going to get an opportunity to be on the same team like we were in minor hockey in Cranbrook," the elder Niedermayer said Thursday from Cranbrook, B.C., on a conference call.
New Jersey was Niedermayer's NHL home since 1992, after the Devils took him with the third overall pick in the 1991 draft.
Niedermayer has spent 12 full seasons with the Devils, winning three Stanley Cups and the 2004 Norris trophy as the NHL's top defenceman.
"We have tremendous respect for him," Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said Thursday in a conference call. "We did have a conversation last night when he told me of his decision and I'm sure you can all imagine it was a difficult conversation for all parties.
"I've known him since he was 18 and we've shared a lot of highs together. We respect his decision."
In addition to his Stanley Cup titles, Niedermayer has won an Olympic Gold medal, a World Championship, the World Cup, the Memorial Cup and a World Junior title. He is the only player in hockey history to have won all six titles.
The San Jose Sharks were also believed to be offering a long term contract to Niedermayer.