Skip to content

Jamie Langenbrunner prepares for a new role with the St. Louis Blues

Aug 27, 2011, 3:22 PM EDT

Jamie Langenbrunner AP

Jamie Langenbrunner was playing some of the best hockey of his career in his 30’s, scoring a career-high 69 points in 2008-09 and 61 in 09-10 as he captained the New Jersey Devils. Yet things started going sour at the end of 09-10, as Langenbrunner clashed with Jacques Lemaire.

That funk seemed to carry over into the 2010-11 season, as he managed 14 points in 31 games with the Devils before he finally agreed to waive his no-trade clause and return to the only other team he knew, the Dallas Stars. It didn’t really get a whole lot better for Langenbrunner in Dallas, though, as he scored 18 points in 39 games while seeing reduced time on ice (16:33 minutes per game). The Stars were on the cusp of a playoff spot but couldn’t get the job done against the Minnesota Wild in the last day of the regular season, punctuating a nauseating season for the versatile winger.

Losing just seemed to follow him around like a dark cloud in 2010-11; Jeremy Rutherford points out that the Devils and Stars’ combined record with Langenbrunner on their rosters was 27-44-8. That must have been a bitter pill to swallow for a guy who won two Stanley Cups, one silver medal and made the playoffs in all 13 of his previous full NHL seasons.

The 36 year old winger told Rutherford that he lost some of his passion for hockey last season.

“Jersey had weighed on me so much,” Langenbrunner said. “I’ve always been the type of guy that plays with a lot of emotion and heart, and when you feel like you’re not really part of it, it was tough, especially when you’re the captain. I didn’t enjoy playing hockey anymore, and that is no way to play in this league.”

The Blues are mostly a very young team, with almost every major contributor being in what should be their prime years. Even so, the team decided to add some veteran scoring presences in the form of similar one-year contracts for Langenbrunner and fellow former Devils forward Jason Arnott. When you factor in the addition of defensive forward Scott Nichol, the Blues added three 36 year old forwards during this off-season.

Rather than drawing top line minutes like Langenbrunner often did in New Jersey, Rutherford reports that Langenbrunner will probably play alongside Arnott and Alex Steen on a third line while drawing penalty killing duty.

The Blues don’t expect Langenbrunner to step into a top-six role or line up on the power play. Going into training camp, which begins Sept. 16, he’s slotted for the third line with Alex Steen and Arnott, and he’s scheduled to be on the penalty-killing unit.

“We feel he’s going to provide some work, some defensive responsibility,” Blues coach Davis Payne said. “If there’s a guy not performing and all of a sudden he takes that responsibility, that’s what we’re going to find out. That’s the role we’ve discussed.”

At first, I scoffed at the additions of Langenbrunner and Arnott. Yet when you consider the fact that they’ll likely be in third line/support roles, the moves make a lot more sense (especially since St. Louis gave them low-risk one-year deals).

The Blues could be an intriguing dark horse candidate next season, especially if they manage to make an aggressive trade deadline move or two once a new ownership group is hopefully in place. St. Louis must hope that Arnott and Langenbrunner still have some gas left in the tank, but if nothing else, the team’s younger players can lean on two veterans who have seen a lot in their NHL careers.

Latest Posts
  1. Coyotes ‘win’ against Sabres in OT

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:48 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    The real winners might be the Edmonton Oilers.

  2. Video: Cam Ward flashes the glove on David Perron

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:58 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

    Update your save of the year highlight packages.

  3. Video: Sandwich hit not delicious for Devils’ Gelinas

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT

    sammich

    He seems OK after that tough, 2-on-1 check.

  4. Red Wings pull Howard after one period

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:41 PM EDT

    Jimmy Howard AP

    Three goals allowed in 20 minutes by Detroit’s embattled starter.

  5. Martin St. Louis resumed skating on Thursday

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:23 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v New York Islanders Getty Images

    The Rangers forward felt encouraged by this latest step.

  6. Yes, Krejci is back (and at RW)

    Mar 26, 2015, 7:03 PM EDT

    krejcigetty Getty Images

    He’s lining up with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to start.

  7. Pens say Ehrhoff will miss several days with upper-body injury

    Mar 26, 2015, 6:37 PM EDT

    Christian Ehrhoff AP

    A Vladimir Tarasenko hit shook him up on Tuesday.

  8. Signing Day: After getting Baun, Chicago inks Paliotta

    Mar 26, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

    USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp - USA Blue v Finland Getty Images

    Vermont power forward was the club’s third-round pick in 2011.

  9. Here’s Ottawa’s ‘Don’t Throw Hamburgers’ PSA

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:56 PM EDT

    BurgerPSA

    Featuring Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot and a guest appearance from Curtis Lazar.

  10. Report: Panthers ‘enthralled’ with Jagr’s performance, will look to re-sign

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:37 PM EDT

    Jaromir Jagr, Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov Getty Images

    The 43-year-old has been a big influence on his young linemates.

  11. After healthy scratching Fowler, Ducks park Wisniewski

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Bruce Boudreau continues to “experiment” on defense.

  12. Marchand: If Bruins miss playoffs, ‘this is going to be a much different group next year’

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:20 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins - Game Seven Getty Images

    “Hopefully we realize that, come together and allow this group to stay together.”

  13. Hextall insists he’s ‘on the same page’ with Snider

    Mar 26, 2015, 1:57 PM EDT

    Ron Hextall Getty Images

    “We are all thinking the same way and going the same direction.”

Featured video

Hammond leads Ottawa's turnaround
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (2266)
  2. P. Datsyuk (2238)
  3. H. Lundqvist (2009)
  4. D. Byfuglien (1918)
  5. B. Little (1759)