Retired NHL defenceman Scott Niedermayer hits up Locarno Beach yesterday to take part in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

Scott Niedermayer, captain of Canada’s Olympic gold- medal-winning hockey team, said he’s been keeping himself busy as a dad and spokesperson since hanging up his skates last year.

The retired NHL defenceman hit up Locarno Beach yesterday as a freshwater ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund and took part in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

“Growing up in B.C., I had a great appreciation of the natural beauty and animals in this great province,” said Niedermayer, who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the New Jersey Devils and the Anaheim Ducks.

Aside from his spokesperson work for WWF Canada, he’s been enjoying more time with his family.

“Being used to the hockey schedule for 20 years keeps you pretty busy … and all of a sudden I have an abundance of time, but I have four (boys) at home who keep me racing around doing things,” he said.

Niedermayer, who grew up in Cranbrook, was recently inducted to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame with fellow British Columbians Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Shea Weber and Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo for their contributions to Canada’s gold-medal run at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

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