Scott Niedermayer had two assists in a six-game, first-round playoff loss to the Dallas Stars in April. ((Mark Avery/Associated Press))

Scott Niedermayer isn't leaving the Anaheim Ducks and their fans hanging this summer.

The star defenceman on Thursday announced he would honour the final year of his contract after contemplating retirement for a second straight off-season.

"If I had to place a guess, I would say yes," Niedermayer said Thursday when asked if the 2008-09 NHL campaign would be his last. "I've been wrong before, I guess, in my thinking.

"But if I had to make a decision on that now, I would say this will probably be it."

The Ducks will take next season and call it a win. They are thrilled to get the star blue-liner back into their fold.

"It's no secret what Scotty has meant to this organization over the past three years," said general manager Brian Burke.

Niedermayer, 34, waited until last December to come back, six months after Anaheim's Stanley Cup win. He will earn $6.75 million US next season.

"I've probably been sitting on this decision for a little bit and it's been good just to see how I felt after committing to it personally," Niedermayer said on a conference call. "I let a little time pass after that and it felt like the right decision.

"I'm excited to get back playing some hockey with the guys we have in our room."

Niedermayer, the NHL's top blue-liner in 2004, had eight goals and 25 points in 48 games this past season. He added two assists in a six-game, first-round playoff loss to the Dallas Stars.

"I had a lot of fun in my short year last year," said Niedermayer, whose wife Lisa gave birth to child No. 4 last Friday. "I guess after a short year and a shorter playoff run I definitely physically and mentally feel ready to go. A lot more energized.

"That's probably a big difference this year as opposed to last year."

While Niedermayer said next season will probably be his last, there are those who believe he's got the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver in the back of his mind. But the native of Cranbrook, B.C., played it coy Thursday when asked about that possibility.

"That hasn't really come into my thought process a whole lot and I now know that it's going to a lot more going forward," said Niedermayer. "Yeah, it's a big thing obviously. I've only played in the one Olympics [2002] and it was a great experience, something I wouldn't trade for anything, being part of Team Canada."

With files from the Canadian Press