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Posted By Travis Currie On Jan 7 2011 @ 11:50 pm In Dallas Stars | 2 Comments

Mama I’m comin home !

I curse the day he was traded back in 2002, and I will always resent the fact that he spent the prime of his career in another uniform. But Jamie Langenbrunner has found his way home. Finally.

Joe Nieuwendyk worked the deal out with Lou Lamoriello and it was officially announced this morning. A conditional 3rd round draft choice, which will turn into a 2nd rounder should the Stars either win atleast one playoff round this year or re-sign Langenbrunner before July 1. Langenbrunner was actually asked over a week ago by Lamoriello if he would waive his no trade clause. The deal was only stalled because of Dallas’s financial situation.

The way the season has gone so far, the Stars should be considered a dangerous team. At the start of the season, most would have pegged the Stars as sellers by this time of the year and not a team that would be adding for a potential run. My how things change. The Stars are currently in third place in the conference and of course hold the lead in the Pacific division over previously considered favourites San Jose, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.

In what’s still considered by many ( including myself ) as maybe the worst trade in franchise history, Langenbrunner and then linemate Joe Nieuwndyk were dealt to New Jersey for Randy McKay, Jason Arnott, and a 1st round draft pick back on trade deadline day on 2002. Dallas, though already struggling, would miss the playoffs that year and New Jersey would win their third Stanley Cup the year after. Langenbrunner led the playoffs in both goals ( 11 ) and points ( tied with Scott Niedermayer with 18 ). He also scored four gamewinners for the Devils that playoff, helping add to his reputation as a clutch playoff performer.

He was given the “C” by the Devils in 2007 and captained the U.S. at last year’s Winter Olympics, almost delivering Gold.  Nieuwendyk knows better than anyone what he brings to a team, being that they won Cups together as teammates in both Dallas and New Jersey.

Is this a good move ? Sure it is. It’s a low risk, high reward type of trade and given the fact that he’s a UFA at the end of the season, we’re not on the hook for any long-term deal we can’t afford. My feeling is that he will be re-signed though. His current price tag is $2.8 million per year and that’s not likely to go up  so he should come at a decent rate should we decide to. The trade also tells the players that management believes in them. Which never hurts.

Stars fans need not worry as the move will not hurt any chances of re-signing Brad Richards either. The big factor in the Richards saga is finding a new owner. Should the Stars be in better financial stability before the off-season, Richards will be re-signed. Should a new owner not be in place, well, that’s being worked on as we speak.

He’s not 26 anymore, he’s 35. This isn’t 1999 or 2000, it’s 2011. But Langenbrunner is back and should be an asset to a surprise Dallas team. He brings a right handed shot which is something the team has been missing, and can play in about any situation. His blue collar attitude and strong work ethic should blend in nicely with this Stars squad. He’ll be starting on the third line with Steve Ott and Adam Burish, likely making his Stars “debut” on Sunday in his home state of Minnesota vs the Wild.

The big question here is, do I get my new Langenbrunner jersey in black or white ?

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