Friday, September 10, 2010
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. Niewendyk would contribute 10 goals and 4 assists in 22 games during that year's playoffs.
His goal scoring would remain consistently high, as he 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 became the Flames captain in 1991 was 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.
Nieuwendyk would play in 9 seasons in Calgary before being dealt in 1995 to the Dallas Stars 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 1999 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.
That victory would place Nieuwendyk in the unique position of having won the Stanley Cup three times in three different decades as a member of three different teams, with championships in Calgary in 1989, Dallas in 1999 and New Jersey 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 earn a gold medal in 2002 in Salt Lake City.
Today's featured jersey is a 2002-03 New Jersey Devils Joe Nieuwendyk jersey. This style of Devils jersey was adopted for the 1992-93 season when the Devils dropped the color green from their color set and has remained unchanged ever since. In addition, the Devils, led by team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello, have resisted the adaptation of an alternate jersey and if he has his way, the Devils will still be wearing this same jersey unchanged 100 years from now.
Here are some highlights of Joe and Flames winning the Stanley Cup in 1989.
Here Joe makes a really nice move around Kevin Weeks to score his 500th career goal in style.
Next is a retrospective of Joe's career from ESPN.
Here is a highlight reel of Niewendyk's time with the Dallas Stars, highlighting his goal scoring ability.