The Anaheim Ducks traded Chris Pronger to the Philadelphia Flyers on draft weekend because free-agent defenceman Scott Niedermayer told general manager Bob Murray he wanted to play in 2009-10.
Niedermayer re-signed with the Ducks on Wednesday afternoon, ending speculation that other NHL clubs, including the Canucks, might have been able to lure the silky smooth defenceman out of Anaheim.
In May, Niedermayer's agent told Vancouver's Team 1040 AM that his client seriously considered the Canucks in his last go-around with free agency, and would consider them again. (Kevin Epp, the Vancouver-based agent, did not immediately return calls upon the start of free agency).
Entering his 18th NHL season, Niedermayer is still a strong candidate for the Canadian Olympic team, and playing in Vancouver would allow him to live and compete for a gold medal in the same city. The 35-year-old was raised in Cranbrook, B.C., and still spends summers in the province.
Canucks GM Mike Gillis has no fear of veterans in their last hurrahs (see Sundin, Mats), and is even willing to pay a premium (see Sundin, $10-million U.S. per season), so long as the term is short. Vancouver covets Niedermayer's skill set.
The Canucks signed defenceman Aaron Rome to a one-year, $550,000 contract on Wednesday. The 26-year-old has played 26 NHL games over three seasons in Columbus and Anaheim, registering three points and 33 penalty minutes.