The 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. PT. For television coverage, American viewers should rely on the NHL Network, while north of the border Kings fans should turn their attention to TSN2.
Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan, Chris Chelios, Geraldine Heaney and the late Fred Shero will be inducted in tonight’s ceremony. Jay Greenberg will also be honored with the Elmer Ferguson Award – an award previously presented to LA Times columnist Helene Elliott – while Harry Neale, formerly of Hockey Night in Canada and the Buffalo Sabres, and current Toronto Maple Leafs analyst – will be presented the Foster Hewitt Award for his outstanding contributions towards broadcasting.
None of the inductees boast any close ties to the Los Angeles organization – Scott Niedermayer won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks, a divisional rival, while Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios combined to appear in five playoff series against the Kings – though there exists the lasting legacy of several crucially integral National Hockey League players and personalities from the 1990’s and 2000’s in the aforementioned trio.
Niedermayer has both a reputation for being gracious and humble, as well as having inspired a younger generation of defensemen across North America.
Drew Doughty has previously spoken about Niedermayer’s influence. The night he scored on his almost-end-to-end rush against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of Game 2 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, he said, “I actually remember Niedermayer, when he played in New Jersey, having a couple of end-to-enders. He was an unbelievable player here and everywhere he played, and I always wanted to emulate him, and he scored some highlight-reel goals I’ll always remember.”
Last week, Darryl Sutter spoke about the similarities between Doughty and Niedermayer.
“They play both ends of the ice. They both really skate. They both can play against top players. They’re both good on the power play,” he said.
I’ll be exploring Doughty’s defensive influences, and the influences of other young Kings defensemen, in an LAKings.com post that should go up on Wednesday. Though Niedermayer is credited heavily, there’s another particular defenseman Doughty pinpoints as having influenced him from an early age, though you’ll have to wait until Wednesday to find out who.
In the meantime, here’s a quote from Doughty on aspects of Niedermayer’s game that impressed him, and how they relate to his own play:
“Niedermayer – he was great positionally. Something I work really hard at is making sure I’m in the right position before I have to make a play to break up a play. He was great offensively, great on the power play, and that’s someone I definitely want to be like. I think I may play a little more physical than he did, but he didn’t have to play physical because he was so good with his feet and so good with his stick. If I can do the same as he did and not have to play physical, that would be great, but I also enjoy that part of the game, too.”