In the 102-year history of the National Hockey League, 348 individuals have played 1,000 or more regular season games. 44 of them, or 12.6%, have played some part of their career with the Atlanta or Calgary Flames. We call these players Long-Timers.
Let’s take a look at Rob Niedermayer.
A product of British Columbia, Niedermayer came up in the Western Hockey League and plied his trade with the Medicine Hat Tigers. He was selected fifth overall by the Florida Panthers in the 1993 NHL Draft. (His old brother, Scott, was drafted two years prior and had an amazing hockey career.)
The younger Niedermayer went pro at 19, playing full-time for the Panthers. After a brief return to the Tigers during the 1994-95 lockout, he played for Florida through 2001. His career offensive peak was in 1995-96, when he had 26 goals and 61 points and helped get the Panthers to the Stanley Cup Final – they got swept by Colorado, but they made it.
Niedermayer joined the Flames in 2001 in a trade that sent him and a second round pick to Calgary in exchange for Valeri Bure and Jason Wiemer. He played just shy of two seasons with the Flames, scoring 14 goals in 111 games. The Flames traded him to Anaheim for Mike Commodore and Jean-Francois Damphousse.
Rob was reunited with Scott when his older brother joined the Ducks following the 2004-05 lockout. The duo won a Stanley Cup together in 2007. Rob spent two more seasons with Anaheim before having short stints with New Jersey and Buffalo as a free agent. He played a handful of games in Switzerland before retiring in 2011.
Niedermayer had a very solid career. He was a good depth forward for a lot of teams. He got Selke votes here and there, though he never finished high in the balloting. He won World Junior and World Championship gold. He won a Stanley Cup. His career pales in comparison to Scott’s, because he’s a bonafide Hall of Famer. But compared to the vast majority of hockey players, Rob’s career was a damn fine one.