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Ex-Star Still Has Winning Touch

By DAVID SESSIONS

Star-Telegram Staff Writer

2051402-850737.jpgJASON ARNOTT

As the Stars left the NHL playoff stage after just one round, a common refrain was that they were missing somebody who could supply the clutch goals at key moments.

After all, three of Dallas' four playoff losses were in overtime. And it was not the only strong team to bemoan the absence of a right-place, right-time kind of goal scorer.

All three Western Conference division winners were eliminated in the first round and could have used a player who stepped up when the pressure increased.

In other words, a player such as Jamie Langenbrunner of the New Jersey Devils, a former Star who's trying to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup for the third time.

The Devils have won 15 consecutive games, a streak that started late in the regular season when they overtook the New York Rangers for first place in the Atlantic Division. Then they swept the Rangers in the first round.

Langenbrunner, 30, is at his best in the postseason. He has 11 career game-winning goals in the playoffs and is a proven playoff scorer despite never having more than 23 goals in the regular season.

Somehow, the gritty, grinding right winger manages to get it done when it matters most.

"I pride myself on playing better in bigger games," Langenbrunner said. "I have confidence that I know I'm going to play in those games and being on the good teams in the last nine or 10 years has definitely helped.

"For me, it's not getting caught up in the moment and staying within yourself. I don't try to do much."

After a self-described "horrible" start to the 2005-06 season in which he had five goals in his first 37 games, Langenbrunner has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the past nine games, including the final five in the regular season.

He added to his playoff game-winner total with a goal 58 seconds into Game 3 against the Rangers. One more playoff winner will tie Langenbrunner for the Devils' all-time lead in postseason game-winners with six.

As a member of Cup-winning teams with the Stars in 1999 and the Devils in 2003, Langenbrunner scored 10 and 11 playoff goals, respectively.

What those teams had in common was "a belief in each other," Langenbrunner said. "Everyone's going to do their job and not worrying about who's getting credit for it."

The irony for the Stars is that they now long for the type of player they traded away.

Langenbrunner played eight seasons for the Stars before general manager Doug Armstrong dealt him and Joe Nieuwendyk to the Devils for center Jason Arnott at the trade deadline in 2002.

"Being the first ones off a team that had had a lot of success, winning the Stanley Cup, and five or six division championships...it was hard," Langenbrunner said. "I understand that's part of the business."

Langenbrunner could be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and several teams, among them the Florida Panthers, appear to be ready to make a push to sign him.

Langenbrunner made $1.7 million this season.

"I'd be lying to you if I said I don't worry about where my future's going to go," Langenbrunner said.

What if the Stars called?

"I definitely would answer the phone," Langenbrunner said. "I loved playing in Dallas and I think it's a great organization. I have no hard feelings."

IN THE KNOW

A DEAL WITH THE DEVILS

How the principals have performed since Doug Armstrong's first major trade as Stars general manager in 2002:

Jason Arnott

Season Team Gms Goals Asts. Pts.

2002 Dal. 10 3 1 4

2002-03 Dal. 72 23 24 47

2003-04 Dal. 73 21 36 57

2005-06 Dal. 81 32 44 76

Totals 236 79 105 184

Jamie Langenbrunner

Season Team Gms Goals Asts. Pts.

2002 N.J. 14 3 3 6

2002-03 N.J. 78 22 33 55

2003-04 N.J. 53 10 16 26

2005-06 N.J. 80 19 34 53

Totals 225 54 86 140

Joe Nieuwendyk

Season Team Gms Goals Asts. Pts.

2002 N.J. 14 2 9 11

2002-03 N.J. 80 17 28 45

2003-04 Tor. 64 22 28 50

2005-06 Fla. 65 26 30 56

Totals 223 67 95 162

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David Sessions, (817) 390-7760 dsessions@star-telegram.com

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Jaime is definately a gamer and it didn't take long for me to look at him as a true Devil. Give me a Jaime Langerbrunner over a Jason Arnott anyday. Atleast with Jaime you know the effort will be there when he shows up everynight.

I'm glad we have a GM that knows the real value of these players and doesn't cast them off for some overpriced prima donna superstar who makes 6 million a year and doesn't show up for the playoffs. (Note: I'm not directly referring to Arnott).

I'm also guessing that Nieuwy25 rightfully misses the days when Nieuwyndyk and Langenbrunner put on Stars uniforms and the team actually took their game up a notch in the postseason instead of re-enacting the Titanic on ice. That trade was probably the start of the downfall for the Stars. Not that Nieuwyndyk would be playing forever.

Edited by E-Devil
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I'm glad we have a GM that knows the real value of these players and doesn't cast them off for some overpriced prima donna superstar who makes 6 million a year and doesn't show up for the playoffs. (Note: I'm not directly referring to Arnott).

Woulod you be referring to his captain ?? :lol:

Or perhaps mister billy bob guerin too ??

That team has so much money wasted in those abyss players it's disturbing!!

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I'm also guessing that Nieuwy25 rightfully misses the days when Nieuwyndyk and Langenbrunner put on Stars uniforms and the team actually took their game up a notch in the postseason instead of re-enacting the Titanic on ice. That trade was probably the start of the downfall for the Stars. Not that Nieuwyndyk would be playing forever.

The understatement of the year! :evil:

Langenbrunner could be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and several teams, among them the Florida Panthers, appear to be ready to make a push to sign him.

Wow this offseason will be crazy.....

The Panthers, with Joe. Hmmmmm . . . . . .

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Wow this offseason will be crazy.....

I'm really nervous that aside from Marty, there will be a whole new face to this Devils team when the puck drops next October.

Not that I should be worrying about it now...but with so many teams eyeing our guys....it's hard.

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Yes Liz. He is.

I was always a fan of Langenbrunner's. I wanted the Rangers to trade for him before the Devils did. Instead, they wound up with Todd Harvey. He gave a good effort but was always injury prone. So he didn't last.

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"I'd be lying to you if I said I don't worry about where my future's going to go," Langenbrunner said.

What if the Stars called?

"I definitely would answer the phone," Langenbrunner said. "I loved playing in Dallas and I think it's a great organization. I have no hard feelings."

oh oh oh oh oh!!!!! Get on the phone boys.... lol ;-) jk I wouldn't want you guys to lose him, but it would be amazing to see him back.

The understatement of the year! :evil:

I second that!

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Providing no one overpays for Langer, Im sure Lou will do his best to keep him here... Lou wanted to draft him, had to wait 8 years to get him... I'm sure he'll do his best to keep him here.

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Im trying to find out where I heard he wanted to draft him... he definetely held out for Langenbrunner (over Morrow)

http://www.njdevs.com/forums/lofiversion/i....php/t7996.html

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According to a recent report by Mark (N)Єverson of the New York Post, the Stars were planning on sending Joe Nieuwendyk and either Brenden Morrow or Jon Sim to New Jersey for Jason Arnott, Randy McKay and a first round draft pick.

But Lamoriello didn't want Morrow or Sim. He kept on insisting that he wanted Langenbrunner and wouldn't budge as the clock ticked towards the trade deadline. Just minutes before the deadline, Armstrong finally relented and Langenbrunner became part of the deal.

Langenbrunner was bitter. More than a year after the trade he wouldn't even mention Armstrong by name, referring to him only as the "new GM and saying he wanted to prove Armstrong made a mistake by trading him.

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Langenbrunner was bitter. More than a year after the trade he wouldn't even mention Armstrong by name, referring to him only as the "new GM and saying he wanted to prove Armstrong made a mistake by trading him.

Did I ever tell you how my mom sent an email to Armstrong after Joe and Jamie were traded? Yeah she was so p.o.ed that she sent the meanest email to him. I thought it was funny being that she isn't too into hockey, but when two players have their photo up on the frig like we did, that means they are family. She didn't like her "sons" being traded. :D

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