Niedermayer to return
Color me shocked.
Ducks GM Brian Burke confirmed today that defenseman Scott Niedermayer will return for the remainder of the season, predictably ending the speculation surrounding the former captain.
Burke will have to shed some salary to accommodate Niedermayer's multiyear contract.
Niedermayer is not eligible to go back on the 23-man roster of the Ducks until Anaheim GM Brian Burke clears cap space for next year - called "tagging" room - by moving a player currently on the roster who is also under contract next season. By everyone's estimate, the Ducks need to free up about $3 million worth of next season's salary commitment in order to get Niedermayer back in the lineup now.Thanks to Niedermayer's suspension, his salary to date this year isn't on the books and the Anaheim has just enough cap room to accomodate the prorated remainder of his $6.75MM paycheck - but next year is another story (assuming Niedermayer doesn't extend his off-season again). The contract extensions for Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Kunitz have maxed out the Ducks for the 08/09 season, and Burke still has to resign RFA Corey Perry and a number of role players.
McKenzie and others speculate Matthieu Schneider and his $5M contract will be on the block to clear cap space for both this year (with the double benefit of paving the way for the possible return of Teemu Selanne) and next.