Thing of it is Stevens wouldn't be the same player or hitter in the new NHL.
He never took a cheap shot penalty for hitting because he paid attention and adapted to all circumstances. Both he and Niedermayer have that insane competitive streak. You'll sacrifice ego to win. and you have a clear enough head that you can see the weak choices - and the discipline to not give in to them.
I'm not sure which I'd choose. Stevens dogged loyalty is just huge for me. He has less extraneous mental garbage than Nieds. In turn, Nieds can see some sublties that Stevens can't.
Stevens tries to do too much himself. Niedermayer gives up too easily if the road isn't clear enough.
They both get hurt feelings
but they both suck it up - mostly to prove a point though...
It all came easier to Niedermayer on many levels. Stevens work ethic gave him more mental stamina year in year out - he knew how to rest and recharge - he knew how to hit the reset button once a goal was achieved. Niedermayer kind of lost focus - he's not a repeat kind of guy and it's not as easy for him to find the freshness of it all - a new take.
They're pretty equal.
I want them both back - there!