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.