It doesn't fit their budget and it's certainly not their first need, but could the Stars find a way to swing a deal to get Jamie Langenbrunner?
In fact, should they even consider it?
With the signing of Ilya Kovalchuk on Monday, the Devils are over the salary cap right now. Fans in New Jersey are expecting a trade to move somebody, and Langenbrunner appears to be a candidate because of the falling out he had in the playoffs with the team when they left him home from a trip to Carolina because of an injury. He has one-year left on his contract at $2.8 million, so the Stars could creatively find a way to fit him in, but New Jersey wants minimum salary in return (if any) because they need to get under the cap.
On the good side, Langenbrunner is the captain of the Devils and was the captain of Team USA that took a silver medal at the Olympics. He had 19 goals among 61 points last season and 29 goals among 69 points the year before. He played 81 games in each season. He is also one of GM Joe Nieuwendyk's very good friends.
On the bad side, he has accumulated those points playing on a line with two very good players in Travis Zajac and Zach Parise, and his last three seasons in Dallas resulted in point totals of 39 (in 65 games), 30 (in 53 games) and 26 (in 68 games). He is about to turn 35, and he might be better suited to be a complementary piece on a team that is ready to contend for a Stanley Cup.
He is a right-handed right wing, and the Stars do seem to have an opening there (possibly on a line with Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro).
He has a no-trade clause, which we assume he would waive to come back to Dallas. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is a shrewd trade partner, but he might be willing to take less to get Langenbrunner out of the conference. It would be a tricky negotiation, because the Stars really don't need to be giving up good young kids or draft picks _ and that is what Lamoriello would want.
Plus, the Stars still have the door open for a possible Jere Lehtinen return (he still hasn't decided, we were told when the Stars acquired Adam Burish), and that would cost significantly less in money and absolutely nothing in trade.
I've pretty much talked myself out of making this trade by writing this entry, but would you consider the deal? Langenbrunner would be a very solid player and a very solid leader in a position of need, but he could also stand in the way of the progress of a player like Tomas Vincour or Colton Sceviour (or even block the small possibility that Scott Glennie could pull a Jamie Benn next season). Plus, if you get him now, don't you feel a need to re-sign him? And is that really what this team needs?
It seems it would be better to keep the powder dry and wait for a defenseman or a much younger scoring right wing.
What say you?