Cloquet’s NHL star is back for some golfCloquet's Jamie Langenbrunner, who just signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Blues, is back to defend his golf title at the 80th Cloquet Invitational.
Jamie Langenbrunner’s sports resume includes being captain of an NHL team, captain of a U.S. Olympic team and winning two Stanley Cup titles. He also has a championship at Cloquet Country Club, his hometown golf course.
The former winner is back for the start of today’s 80th Cloquet Invitational and brings a zero handicap into the three-day, 54-hole event. He won the 2009 tournament with a 17-over-par 230, edging Reed Kolquist of Hermantown by two shots.
Langenbrunner, 35, says he’s spent time on his game this spring and since returning to his Moose Lake summer home last month. He’ll have some bounce in his step after signing a one-year, $2.5 million NHL free-agent contract this week with St. Louis for 2011-12 after splitting last season between New Jersey and Dallas. He was traded in January by New Jersey, where he had been captain.
“Last season was my most disappointing year. It didn’t go as planned and it made hockey more of a job,” Langenbrunner said Thursday. “New Jersey had become an important part of my life and my family’s life, and it felt like home (after nine years) and I wanted to finish my career there. When I was no longer a part of it, that made it hard.
“I enjoyed my time in Dallas (where he previously played parts of eight seasons) and played with a great group of guys. But I didn’t fit into their plans anymore and St. Louis was very interested. I’m excited for a fresh start.”
Langenbrunner has already played 16 NHL seasons and totaled 237 goals and 401 assists for 638 points in 1,035 games, the most by anyone growing up in Northeastern Minnesota, yet had just nine goals in 70 games last season. While St. Louis sought a three-year contract, the right winger wanted to start with one.
“I feel I can still compete and that I can play for a few more years, but I wanted to get to St. Louis, play one year and get comfortable,” said Langenbrunner, captain of the 2010 U.S. Olympic silver-medal team.
He said he’s able to spend a little more time at the golf course this year because two sons, Landon, 10, and Mason, 8, have taken up the game.
Other former winners in the Cloquet Invitational field are Kolquist, Scott Anderson, Paul Munson and Steve Sojevich, and defending champion Brent Lexvold of Apple Valley, Minn. Lexvold, 42, shot a 13-over-par 226 last year to edge Langenbrunner and Anderson by two shots.