- Scott had a valid contract for this past year. The team invested big dollars with the expectations that he would live up to his side of the bargain. After the Cup, Niedermayer started a 5 month odyssey of uncertainly/self indulgence. Would he retire, would he come back?
- In a salary capped league all GM's need to know what their payrolls can be, what space to sign players etc they have. By not making his plan known until so late it tied his teams GM Brian Burke. Burke, not knowing what his selfish captain would do, was forced to assume he wouldn't be back and then signed players with that in mind.
- This allowed another GM like Kevin Lowe to see Anaheim's possible cap space issue and use it to their advantage. Burke not knowing if Scott's 6+ mil in cap space would be free had little choice but to allow one of his big assets(Penner) to go for very little. Later when Scott (finally) decided to come back it was after a date which caused the team to have to trim payroll because of NEXT season! This led to the Andy McDonald trade as well as the literal giving away of Ilya Bryzgalov
4) When Scott finally returned in January it appeared that things were going to be just like before. However, team mates whom were with the team since September must have had resentment watching Niedermayer take 6 months off and then come back as if nothing happened. The team appeared to come together when he and Selanne made returns. (We don't place the same degree of blame on Teemu because he did NOT have a contract and Burke did not have to manipulate the roster around him, AND he wasn't captain!) However, the playoffs are usually the time that separates real teams from pretenders. This team just never seemed able to put together a full effort against the Stars who aren't exactly the 1977 Canadiens. Why? Ask the captain!
5) Brian Burke, who to his credit was silent during the Niedermayer nonsense(in private he was seething!), would be VERY foolish to consider bringing back Scott(even if he decided he wanted to come back) Cut the ties as soon as possible and move on. The Ducks still have a very talented core, and a few moves could have them back next spring hungry, and ready to sacrifice to win.