Thursday, September 10, 2009
Born on this date in 1966, Joe Niewendyk played three years at Cornell University in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC), where he was named an All-American in 1986 and 1987.
He would then move onto the NHL, making his debut with the Calgary Flames, who had drafted him 27th overall in 1985. Because he played less than 25 games, he was still considered to be a rookie the following season when he scored 51 goals and was awarded the Calder Trophy.
He would match is 51 goal total the following season as the Flames would capture the Stanley Cup as Niewendyk would score 10 goals and 4 assists in 22 games during that year's playoffs.
His goal scoring would remain consistently high, as he also netted 45 in each of the next two seasons, giving him a 48 goal average in his first four NHL seasons, never scoring below 45 goals in the process. He would also average 88.5 points during that time span, with his career high coming in 1989-90 when he would add 50 assists to his 45 goals for 95 points.
He would be named the Flames captain in 1991 and be named the winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1995, given to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.
He would play in 9 seasons in Calgary before being dealt to the Dallas Stars in 1995, where he would play for seven seasons, with his best point total coming in 1997-98 when he would score 39 goals and 30 assists for 69 points.
Aside from personal best point totals, the highlight of Nieuwendyk's time in Dallas was capturing his second Stanley Cup and being named with winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs.
Near the end of the 2001-02 season Joe would be dealt to the New Jersey Devils, where he would win his third Stanley Cup in 2003.
His career would wind down with one season with the Toronto Maple Leafs before moving to the Florida Panthers for one full season and 15 games of a second before retiring with 564 goals and 562 assists for 1,126 points in 20 NHL seasons, placing him in the top 50 in NHL history at the time of his retirement.
In addition to his NHL career, Niewendyk would also play in tournaments for Canada on four occasions. in 1986 he would win silver at the World Junior Championship, he would participate at the World Championships in 1990 and play in the Olympics twice, first in 1998 in Nagano, Japan and then earning a gold medal in 2002 in Salt Lake City.
Today's featured jersey is a 1991-92 Calgary Flames Joe Nieuwendyk jersey. This jersey features the captain's "C" that Joe first wore that season along with the NHL 75th Anniversary patch worn by all the teams that season.
Calgary would continue to wear this style jersey through the 1993-94 season until it was replaced after 14 seasons.
Here are some highlights of Joe and Flames winning the Stanley Cup in 1989.
Joe makes a really nice move around Kevin Weeks to score his 500th career goal in style.
Next is a quick career capsule of Joe's career from ESPN.
Here is a slightly longer highlight reel of Niewendyk's time with the Dallas Stars, highlighting his goal scoring ability.