Rhys Haddad is one of the Penticton atom development team members going to Anaheim to play in a tournament and see Scott Niedermayer’s jersey retired. (Mark Brett/Western News)

Okanagan kids head to Anaheim with coach Scott Niedermayer

Penticton players are attending Scott Niedermayer’s sweater retirement ceremony

When the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks officially retire Scott Niedermayer’s number 27 jersey this Sunday, the loudest cheers from the Honda Centre seats will be from a bunch of Okanagan kids.

Members of the Penticton Minor Hockey Association atom development team, which Niedermayer’s son Luke plays on and he helps coach, are making the trip to see the ceremony and play in a hockey tournament.

“I mean this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for for these kids so when the opportunity came up for us to go down and support him we couldn’t pass it up,” said atom head coach Peter Forbes, who helped the kids with their fundraising efforts over the past months.

“For me it was, well I think of all the years that I had growing up and watching Scott Niedermayer as a hockey player and how many times you got around your TV with your family and friends and you cheered on Team Canada or watched the Stanley Cup.

“That man has provided so many great moments for hockey fans.”

Scott Niedermayer has some fun with kids and coaches at a practice of the Penticton minor hockey league he helps coaches.
Mark Brett/Western News

This is not actually the first jersey retirement for the star defenceman who played over 1,000 games in the National Hockey League and was voted one of the 100 best players in its history.

In 2011, the year after he retired from the game, the New Jersey Devils, who he helped to three Stanley Cups also hoisted his sweater to the rafters as did the Western Hockey League Kamloops Blazers where he won two Memorial Cups.

“I have a little bit of practice,” laughed Niedermayer, 45. “But that doesn’t take anything away from the honour, it’s obviously a tremendous honour for an organization to think that much about what you did for them so I’m pretty humbled and honoured that they wanted to it in Anaheim.”

A Hockey Hall of Fame and Canada Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Niedermayer is also member of the Triple Gold Club, winning Stanley Cups, World Championship and Olympic gold medals.

The family moved to Penticton in the summer. Niedermayer’s other sons Jackson (injured) signed on with the B.C. Hockey League’s Penticton Vees while Josh enrolled in the Okanagan Hockey Academy where Scott also helps out.

“It seemed like a great place and we’re enjoying it for sure,” said Niedermayer.

About having his Penticton minor hockey team join him, he added: “It’s going to be really great having them there, great experience for them. I wanted to make sure they wanted to, not just because they felt they had to. I appreciate it.”

Related: Rookie Penticton Vees player Niedermayer following in his father’s skates

Niedermayer particularly enjoys helping coach the young players.

“It brings back a lot of memories,” he said thinking back to the time when he was growing up and playing minor hockey in Cranbrook.

“You remember all the little road trips, the times in a hotel goofing off with your teammates, playing some hockey so it’s neat to see my kids doing the same thing.

Related: Vees shutout Vipers 3-0

“It’s fun to be able to give back. I’ve benefited from a lot of good coaches myself over the years so if I can help a little bit I’m happy to do it.

“It’s fun just watching the kids enjoying themselves, make friends, play the fun game of hockey, is reward enough in itself.”

Niedermayer’s retired jersey will join those of two other Ducks’ past stars, (8) Teemu Selänne and (9) Paul Kariya.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Scott Niedermayer with his Anaheim Ducks jersey. The Ducks are retiring his number in a ceremony this Sunday that a group of Penticton minor hockey players will be attending. (Mark Brett/Western News)

Just Posted

ChargerQuest expands its EV charging network into Kelowna

The new stations can be found at Manteo Beach Resort and the Eldorado Hotel

Kelowna resident warns North Glenmore community of active thieves in the area

Two thieves stole a pontoon boat from a residence on May 23

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Penticton Search and Rescue airlifts injured mountain biker near Naramata

The Penticton Fire Department initially took the call and attended to the injured biker.

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

UPDATE: Two sent to hospital following Okanagan highway accident

Drivers in head-on collision air-lifted to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read