Dallas Stars: Jamie Langenbrunner Makes Return to Dallas

Matt BuschCorrespondent IIIJanuary 7, 2011

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 21:  Jamie Langenbrunner #15 of the United States celebrates after his team mate Brian Rafalski #28 scored during the ice hockey men's preliminary game between Canada and USA on day 10 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 21, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It was a nice spring day, Mar. 19, 2002, when the New Jersey Devils were looking for some veteran leadership to bolster the club's chances at a Stanley Cup run.

That day the Devils shipped Jason Arnott, Randy McKay and a first-round draft pick for veteran center Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner.

Little did the Devils or Stars know that Langenbrunner would become the unquestioned leader of the Devils (not named Martin Brodeur) in the following years.

Dallas has since realized their mistake in letting Langenbrunner go. Langenbrunner was a finalist for the Conn Smythe Award in 2003 by leading the league in goals with 11 and points with 18 in the playoffs.

Langenbrunner continued to improve his game after leaving Dallas. He averaged close to 60 points a season since moving to New Jersey.

Jamie also added great leadership for the Devils post-Scott Stevens. He was named the successor to Stevens as the Devils captain on Dec. 5, 2007.

Langenbrunner made his second Olympic team in 2010 (his first coming in 1998). Shortly after being named to the team, Langenbrunner was named captain of the USA team, and proceeded to lead the team to a Silver Medal after a loss to team Canada in the Gold Medal Game.

Langenbrunner makes his return to Dallas, after being traded back to the team that drafted him 35th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft out of Cloquet High School in the Minnesota State High School Hockey League.

New Jersey will receive a conditional draft pick for compensation. The Pick will start as a third rounder, and can become a second round pick should the Stars either advance past the first round in the playoffs or re-sign Langenbrunner.

He should add depth and leadership to a Dallas team that has exceeded expectations this season. Dallas currently sits at 24-13-4 on the season, and hold the third seed in the Western Conference.