A host of sources on the internet are reporting today that Jamie Langenbrunner has signed a one year contract with the St. Louis Blues and that C Jason Arnott may be joining him there. So ends his brief reunion with the franchise that wrought him.
The irony of the two having once been traded for each other by the very general manager (Doug Armstrong) that is signing them now is priceless.
As recently as last week Joe Nieuwendyk was hinting to the media that he may still have interest in signing Langenbrunner to a deal for next season, but when the Stars completed a whirlwind of signings just two hours into the free agency period their intentions became quite clear and the roster quite full.
Contract length was thought to be one possible stumbling block as players that age tend to look for security down the road with multi-year deals but his rumored single year contract puts that talk to bed as it looks like the Stars just wanted to go in another direction.
Langenbrunner is (arguably?) not a top six type forward any more, and Adam Burish should be this team's third line right wing. The addition of Radek Dvorak is a right shot that many feel can scale up or down the lineup as needed. Is that where the need for Langenbrunner goes away? Is it the hair younger that Dvorak is or just the affordability of his contract?
The Stars' third round pick used by the New Jersey Devils in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft will end up being the only compensation for his services.
His addition was a polarizing one that elicited cries of "living in the past" to contrast claims by many that the acquisition would make the Stars better in the playoffs. Neither proved true, but Jamie added the veteran presence and depth they were looking for and was more valuable than many remember in trying to hold the thing together when the injuries mounted in February.
Both former captains, Langenbrunner and Arnott will be valuable additions that bring veteran leadership to the Blues and help to develop an annoyingly strong core of impressive young talent.
The last vestiges of the 1998-1999 season have been swept away one by one (on the ice, that is) and the 2011-2012 season looks to be the first that will not feature a Dallas Stars Stanley Cup Champion since that fateful year. (Put an asterisk next to Brad Lukowich if he gets into the NHL lineup again this year.)
What do you think about letting Langenbrunner go?