I know that nothing is happening tonight _ at least not officially.
Joe Nieuwendyk is up in Toronto with the Stars' scouts for a couple of days of meetings that were planned in advance. My guess is that when Langenbrunner was made a healthy scratch for tonight's New Jersey game, and
it was made clear that he would be traded, the Stars were one of the teams that expressed their interest.
But here is where the guessing starts. If Joe Nieuwendyk has been clear about anything, it's that he values his draft picks and his prospects, and he will not part with either very easily. So that means that Dallas
might not be willing to make an offer that will suit the Devils.
Langenbrunner could help this team. He is a right-handed right wing _ and this team needs right-handed shots _ and he can play on the power play. You can then get into the discussion of whether he jumps into Jamie
Benn's spot on the Ribeiro line or whether he might just play right wing with Steve Ott and Adam Burish, but the bottom line is you can find a way to fit him in if you give a couple of months of tweaking and experimenting.
Now, what is the cost? Langenbrunner is in the final year of his contract and makes $2.8 million. A traded at this time would add $1.4 million to the Stars' payroll. Since they are already bumping $46 million, they
would either have to get approval from the lenders or send someone else someplace else (possibly to New Jersy, but they have their own payroll problems). The other issue is whether or not the Stars could do anything else after this. Do they have interest in
adding another defensemen? Should they keep their powder dry for a bigger move at the trade deadline Feb. 28? Would Langenbrunner really help a winger group that already is pretty deep?
And would he be taking important minutes away from young players like Benn and Tom Wandell, who seem to be getting better by playing more?
So, it is very complicated. All of the information leaks seem shut down on this end, so my guess is anything out there on Twitter is coming from out East. But who knows in this new world of information. The other
theory is that the Devils are actually leaking the information to stir the pot and make it appear that the demand for Langenbrunner is high. They have pretty much said he will be be traded, so they lose some ``hand'' when other teams know that. The best way
for the Devils to get control is to start a bidding war.
I'm sure the Stars have interest in Langenrbunner. I'm sure they don't want to overpay for him. That could make Friday something big or just another day. We'l just have to wait and see.