Langenbrunner tradedCloquet native Jamie Langenbrunner is returning to his NHL roots. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton’s all-time single-season scoring leader was traded from the New Jersey Devils to the Dallas Stars last week in exchange for a conditional 2011 third-round draft choice.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
Cloquet native Jamie Langenbrunner is returning to his NHL roots.
Cloquet-Esko-Carlton’s all-time single-season scoring leader was traded from the New Jersey Devils to the Dallas Stars last week in exchange for a conditional 2011 third-round draft choice.
The 2010-11 season has been disappointing so far for the Devils and for their captain, who scored four goals and added 10 assists in 31 games prior to the trade. However, returning to his first NHL organization will give Langenbrunner a fresh start.
“It’s been a tough time,” Langenbrunner said this week. “But it’s good to be here [Dallas]. I haven’t been here in eight or nine years. It’s definitely odd, but there aren’t many guys left in the [dressing] room from before. But it feels good. The organization and team have been doing well, and I’m excited to be back.”
If all goes well he’ll also play his 1,000th game in an NHL uniform Monday night when the Stars host Los Angeles.
Langenbrunner also goes to a team placed 30 points higher in the standings than the Devils, who had 11 fewer points in the standings than any other NHL team at the time of last Friday’s trade. The Stars led the Pacific Division at the time of the deal.
“For whatever reason, we never really started playing like a team when we needed to [in New Jersey this season],” Langenbrunner said. “We were going in different directions. That happens sometimes. It shouldn’t happen, though, and this year was a big downturn.”
Langenbrunner set a career high for assists last season with 42 and captained the United States Olympic Team to a silver medal at the Vancouver Olympics. For his career, Langenbrunner has scored 232 goals and added 388 assists for 620 points. He has four overtime game-winning playoff goals, tying him for the NHL lead among active players, and has played in the Stanley Cup playoffs for 13 consecutive years.
He also has two Stanley Cup rings, from the Stars in 1999 and the Devils in 2003.
Langenbrunner will be reunited with his friend Joe Nieuwendyk, who is the Stars’ general manager and who was a mentor to Langenbrunner when he was breaking into the league.
“I have lots of respect for Joe,” Langenbrunner said. “He’s been a good friend of mine for a long time and I really like the way he is trying to build the team. I respect what he’s doing and I feel that I have something to offer.”
Langenbrunner has bittersweet feelings about leaving New Jersey, however.
“That organization has done a great job,” he said. “It was a frustrating situation for everyone involved (New Jersey won 10 of its first 40 games). It was much more so for myself being the
Langenbrunner is presently skating on a line with Steve Ott and Adam Burish. “There’s less pressure on me to perform offensively and I can play the way they want me to play here,” he said.
~ Jeff Papas/