NHL notebook: Niedermayer joins Ducks coaching staff
• Former Ducks captain and four-time Stanley Cup champion defenseman Scott Niedermayer will be an assistant to Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau this season, the Ducks announced Friday. Niedermayer won't make every road trip with the club, and he won't stand behind the Ducks' bench during most games.
• Roberto Luongo is still open to a trade no matter how long it takes the Canucks to deal him. The star goalie returned to the ice for an informal workout with his Canucks teammates Friday. Luongo was displaced as Vancouver's No. 1 netminder by Cory Schneider in last year's playoffs. After the season, Luongo said he would waive his no-trade clause if asked. According to reports, the Flyers are one of the teams interested.
• After skating with his teammates Friday, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom told reporters in Washington he did not have a concussion and expects to be in the team's lineup when the NHL season begins.
• Forward Jochen Hecht is returning to play for the Sabres after agreeing to a one-year contract, his German professional team announced. Hecht has spent this season playing for his hometown team of Adler Mannheim. Hecht will rejoin the Sabres, where he's played for the past nine NHL seasons. Last season, he missed 60 games because of concussions.
• Sabres goalie Ryan Miller is back in Buffalo to rejoin his teammates, eagerly awaiting the start of the regular season and still upset over the four-month NHL lockout. Miller, who played a role in labor talks, called the dispute “stupid” and “a useless waste of time.” He blamed owners and singled out NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for prolonging the lockout into January.