Disgruntled Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner is going back to the place he began his career. The New Jersey Devils are trading Langenbrunner to the Dallas Stars for a conditional draft pick in the 2011 entry draft. The pick will be a third round pick unless the Stars win in the first round of the playoffs or if Langenbrunner re-signs with the Stars before July 1. In those situations it will be a second round pick that goes to New Jersey.
For the Stars, landing Langenbrunner means getting a tried and true right wing to play for them. The Stars have been running out a host of guys that play off-wing or out of position from center on the right side. It’s a natural fit for them and helps strengthen their Pacific Division-leading team. As it is, their only true right wingers are Adam Burish, Brandon Segal, and Krys Barch. It’s a position that’s been a glaring weakness for them and being able to get a guy that’s played in Dallas before helps make it easier for Langenbrunner to blend in.
This also provides Langenbrunner to get out of a situation that’s been mostly toxic for him the last year and a half. From the Devils failures this year to his famous conflicts with Jacques Lemaire, it’s clear that he hasn’t been the same kind of player. This season in particular has been bad for him scoring just four goals and adding ten assists through 31 games.
For the Devils getting Langenbrunner and his recently sour demeanor out of the locker room may be what they need to move along and help the host of younger players that have come up this year to develop on the fly in Newark. With things being as bad as they have been this year in New Jersey, having that extra distraction does no one any favors.
Langenbrunner began his career in Dallas back in 1994 and became a full-time player for the Stars during the 1996-1997 season. Langenbrunner was a key member of the Stars team that won the Stanley Cup in 1999. In 2002, he was traded to New Jersey as part of the deal that sent Joe Nieuwendyk to the Devils in exchange for Jason Arnott and Randy McKay. Langenbrunner then helped the Devils win the Stanley Cup in 2003. Moving back to Dallas might just be the best thing for both sides in this deal.
Measure of revenge: Kings delay clinching efforts for Flames, Blues
Deep down, the Los Angeles Kings probably realize that their season will end on game 82. Still, they kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night … and managed to spite a team they’re growing to hate.
OK, maybe the hate is almost totally focused upon Matthew Tkachuk, yet the disdain for that talented-but-tormenting rookie was palpable.
It didn’t feel like the Kings exacted physical revenge on Tkachuk, but beating his team 4-1 ranked as classic scoreboard vengeance. With that, the Calgary Flames (and by extension the St. Louis Blues) will need to wait to clinch a playoff berth.
Now, as much as tonight was about Tkachuk, the focus was also on a pugnacious player who once dazzled for the Flames: Jarome Iginla.
In what might be Iginla’s final visit to Calgary – at least as an active NHL player – he was one of the best players on the ice. His fitting curtain call included a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a spirited fight, an assist and a goal.
It’s official: the NHL will hold preseason games in China before next season.
The league made the announcement on Wednesday night: the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two exhibitions: one on Sept. 21 (Shanghai) and Sept. 23 (Beijing). How cool is that?
“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”
Blame it on injuries if you want, or emphasize the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall hot finish to the season. Either way, Chicago scorched the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 5-1, a contest that felt more or less over by the time the first period ended 4-0 in the Blackhawks’ favor.
The Blackhawks scored by committee on Wednesday, with Artemi Panarin (goal, assist) and Patrick Kane (two assists) being the headliners. Meanwhile, former Penguin Marian Hossa has quietly climbed to 25 goals on the season.
Meanwhile, the Penguins limped through this one and have now lost four consecutive games.
With this result, the Blackhawks look like close to a lock to win the Central Division title. Meanwhile, the Metro crown is virtually unthinkable for Pittsburgh, and the Penguins might also need to accept the likelihood that they may not enjoy home-ice advantage in the first round.
They’d probably accept that more easily if they can get healthier and get back on track. Wednesday was a little worrisome in those regards.