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Scott Niedermayer made a nice booby prize for New Jersey

Dec 16, 2011, 9:35 AM EDT

Scott Niedermayer Getty Images

The Devils will be retiring Scott Niedermayer’s number tonight but it was a night that wouldn’t have happened if Lou Lamoriello had things break right for him.

Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice relays the story of how the Devils’ hopes back in 1989 centered around Eric Lindros, not Niedermayer. In ’89 the Devils traded Tom Kurvers to Toronto for the Leafs 1991 first round pick. Trading a first rounder that far off in the future was a curious move, but Lamoriello had big plans on draft day ’91.

“When we traded Tom Kurvers and took the pick two years from then it was really with the aspiration of ‘Who knows? Maybe Lindros,’” Lamoriello said this week.

Instead, the Quebec Nordiques finished with the worst record in 1991 earning them the top pick. The expansion San Jose Sharks were given the second pick and the Maple Leafs’ awful season wound up putting them third and giving New Jersey the chance to take Niedermayer.

Aside from the easy jokes about Toronto giving up franchise players in the draft, things worked out rather well for New Jersey with Niedermayer. He helped the Devils win three Stanley Cups while Lindros, as you might recall, never won a Stanley Cup in a controversial and concussion-shortened career.

It’s a shame the Devils didn’t have to dwell on the thought of having to choose between Pat Falloon (drafted second by San Jose) or Niedermayer.

  1. sknut - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    I love stories like this, the way trades work out and where they end up. Very good break for the Devils.

  2. bowens3181 - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    I love stories like this, where the Leafs make stupid trades that end up costing them great players. It’s great that I get to enjoy them on pretty much a yearly basis. Thank you Leafs! Your ability to constantly screw up never ceases to amaze me.

  3. areyesrn - Dec 16, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    I remember when the Flyers got Lindros…the happiest day of my life. Little did I know of what was to come…LOL

  4. donttouchthedirtypenny - Dec 16, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    I love boobies.

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