Let's cover the key points about the press conference, though I'm not going to add too much just yet.
- The announcement was strictly that Scott would play for the Ducks this year, but the timing is still up in the air. One of the main complications comes from a CBA thing called 'tagging'--I'm not going to do the proper research here, so here's Bob McKenzie's description:
With Niedermayer potentially returning, and with another year left on his contract after this season, the Ducks could not add him to the roster now without freeing up cap room for next season. In the new CBA, it's called 'tagging' room and the Ducks don't have enough of it next season to allow Niedermayer back on the roster this season – unless they move a player who is under contract for next season.
Basically, Scott cannot play a game for the Ducks until a roster player is moved--one who is paid well enough next year. Again, I don't really know the dollars required, but I'd guess the eligible list probably looks as follows: Schneider, Bertuzzi, McDonald, Beauchemin, O'Donnell, and Marchant. I'm excluding Pronger and Pahlsson because of their on-ice value, Giguere because of his no-trade clause, and Rob Niedermayer because of nepotism.
- Despite acknowledging the need to move a player, Burke was adamant that he was determined to shake up his roster after the 20-game mark (9-8-3). Burke says he went and talked to the team about the trade that is yet to happen. He offered them this classic Burkish wake-up-call:
If anyone wants to blame this on Scott's return, feel free. Fact of the matter is that we've looked at making changes based on the performance of the team since the 20-game mark.
- In terms of timeframe, Burke said that as an NHL player, Scott "owes" the Ducks 21 days of training camp, though the team is free to put Scott in the lineup at its own discretion during that time. Up until Scott is activated, he still is in suspended status, even though he'll practice with the team. Burke says his guess is that given Scott's conditioning, he could make his debut in 7 - 10 days.
Why's that significant? Because I'm going to a game against the Wild. In SEVEN FUCKING DAYS. Get it going, Scott.
p.s. Anybody interested in starting a campaign to write Scott Niedermayer into the All Star game?