jamie langenbrunner

Blues’ Langenbrunner: Lockout has prepared me for retirement


With 17 seasons and over 1100 games on his resume, Jamie Langenbrunner’s had a highly successful NHL career.

As such, he’s prepared to deal with retirement…even if it’s not on his terms.

The 37-year-old inked a one-year, $1.25 million contract with St. Louis this summer, a deal described by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford as one that “could be the swan song” of Langenbrunner’s career.

Langenbrunner agreed, adding that the lockout has gotten him used to life without hockey.

“I think this time also prepares you for it,” he told the Post-Dispatch. “I’ve gotten involved in coaching the kids’ teams and quite frankly, I’ve gotten to enjoy that aspect of it.

“You realize there is going to be an end to this [lockout] at some point. But it makes me feel when the end [of his career] does come, I’ll be prepared for that.”

It’s been referenced that, following the 2004-05 lockout, over 200 players never made it back to the NHL (though that number has since been dissected by the Edmonton Journal.)

This lockout has already seen a number of veterans linked to potential retirement — predominantly, star players like Daniel Alfredsson, Teemu Selanne and Jaromir Jagr.

But there are other veteran role players in a similar boat. Andy Sutton, set to undergo his 12th surgery, has suggested the end might be near. Columbus defenseman Adrian Aucoin, 39, said retirement is “a huge possibility.” Boston tough guy Shawn Thornton said he’s “probably done” if the lockout kills the season. Jaro Spacek recently announced that he’s called it a day.

Langenbrunner’s a unique case because while he’s not a star, he’s not exactly your run-of-the-mill journeyman. A two-time Stanley Cup champ that captained both the New Jersey Devils and U.S. Olympic team, Langenbrunner’s veteran presence and leadership skills are a big reason why Blues GM Doug Armstrong brought him to St. Louis in the first place.

So yeah, the future is murky. But regardless if this is his last year or not, Langenbrunner is certain of one thing — solving the lockout shouldn’t be this difficult.

“It’s frustrating, but unfortunately it’s what this business has turned into the last 15 years,” he said. “Fights over stuff that maybe shouldn’t be that hard to figure out.”

NHL on NBCSN: Red Wings face Lightning in ’15 playoff rematch

Steven Stamkos, Henrik Zetterberg
AP Photo

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Detroit Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can stream the game online here.

The Lightning made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, but their journey almost ended in the first round at the hands of the Red Wings. Detroit shutout Tampa Bay twice in that series and the two squads were locked in a scoreless tie until the third period of Game 7.

Despite the fact that the Red Wings were a mere hair away from advancing instead of Tampa Bay, the Lightning are often mentioned as serious Cup contenders while Detroit is typically regarded as a good, but not amazing team. However, that gap isn’t entirely unjustified.

After all, Tampa Bay has a very effective core of forwards that features Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat. If the highly regarded Jonathan Drouin, 20, is able to build off of his strong start to the 2015-16 campaign then the Lightning’s offense could be even more dangerous this season.

Detroit certainly has some offensive star power too in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, but the duo is 35 and 37 years old respectively. On top of that, injuries have been a recurring issue for Datsyuk, who isn’t expected to make his season debut until November after undergoing ankle surgery.

As good as those two forwards still are, the Red Wings have to hope that their younger players will be able to lead the charge sooner rather than later. The good news is that 19-year-old Dylan Larkin‘s campaign is off to a strong start with three points in two games while 23-year-old Teemu Pulkkinen scored twice on Saturday.

The Red Wings have opened the season with back-to-back wins against Toronto and Carolina, but tonight’s game represents their biggest test to date. Meanwhile, the Lightning are similarly undefeated after three games, but this contest will be particularly trying for them given that it’s their third game in four days.

PHT Morning Skate: Columnist argues McDavid’s already NHL’s most important player

Connor McDavid
AP Photo

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Although Connor McDavid‘s NHL career has only just gotten started, is he already the league’s most important player? (Sportsnet)

While we’re on the subject of McDavid, what should we expect from him for the remainder of his rookie campaign? (NHL Numbers)

Jack Jablonski was paralyzed on Dec. 30, 2011 at the age of 16 while playing high school hockey, but that hasn’t ended his pursuit of a career in hockey. He’s spent the last two years hosting a weekly hockey-talk radio program and has now joined the Los Angeles Kings as a communications intern. (Orange County Register)

Arizona State has earned its first NCAA victory. (Arizona Republic)

The 2015 Calder Cup champion Manchester Monarchs got their rings. (LA Kings Insider)

The Anaheim Ducks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation gave 13-year-old Kai Quinonez, who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia four years ago, a tremendous experience. (Orange County Register)