A common thread among the 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees is how often they celebrated championships:
Scott Niedermayer, however, enjoyed a run for the ages. His celebrations may not have come as often as Heaney's, but in two decades of junior and pro, the smooth-skating defenceman won 12 major championships. Winning followed him around:
"He was an impact player, a difference maker," said Hockey Hall of Famer Scott Stevens, now an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils, when asked this week in a phone interview on why his former teammate celebrated so many championships.
"Sure, you have to play on good teams, but Scott made all those good teams better and helped turn them into championship teams. He did that with his skating and his two-way play."
Niedermayer knows the joy of victory, but he also knows the agony of defeat.
He suffered at the 1992 world junior championship when, after playing sparingly at the 1991 world juniors, he was the go-to guy on the blue-line for Canada in Fussen, Germany, and didn't check in for single point. Canada finished sixth.
He lost with Canada at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, was overlooked for the 1998 Canadian Olympic team and went down with the Devils to Ray Bourque and the Colorado Avalanche in the 2001 Stanley Cup final.
"I've probably lost almost everything as well," Niedermayer said. "You don't win things by not sticking your nose in there and taking your licks and getting beat at different times."
That losing feeling never stayed long for Niedermayer. In 1992, only five months after his disappointing effort in Fussen, he won the Memorial Cup with Kamloops and easily was the best player on the ice. The 1998 Olympic snub only heightened his game and his graceful skill came shining through at the 2002 Winter Games, when he was arguably Canada's top player.
After the 2001 Stanley Cup disappointment, there was Niedermayer back at the top of the heap two years later.
"Good fortune is really what I can chalk it up to," Niedermayer told Hockey Night in Canada Radio this week.
"I look around at other players and the situations they're in with teams maybe rebuilding or in a slump or not going very well. When you're in those types of situations, it's pretty hard to win a championship.
"It seems wherever I went, even in junior with Kamloops, we had great teams. I went to a Memorial Cup my first year and was back in my third year.
"Then, it was on to New Jersey. At that point, they had a run in the playoffs prior to me getting there.
"They started to build from there. Lou Lamoriello had been there a couple years. He had drafted well, made some trades, hired the right coaches and really built a great organization in New Jersey and I got to go along for the ride there.
"I made a tough decision to come out to Anaheim and the same thing happened. Two short years later we won a Stanley Cup.
"It was kind of hard to believe. I've really been fortunate."
Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC
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