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It looks like the Flyers are the most probable destination, given that Langenbrunner has been asked to waive his no-trade clause and he probably doesn’t want to move too far from his family.
Dallas, where Langenbrunner started his career, is rumored to be another destination, but Mike Heika says the Stars are going to be very, very careful not to overpay for him.
Teams are interested in Langenbrunner for a few reasons. There’s his leadership. There’s his playoff success (two Cups on two teams). And best of all, there’s his versatility. He can play the powerplay and the penalty kill. He can check but he can also play on an offensive line. Basically, Langenbrunner can do whatever you ask him, too. I suspect, in a pinch, he can also do things like sharpen skates and teach Spanish.
But I’m not sure why Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is trying to trade Langenbrunner while his value is so low (four goals and 10 assists on the season and a -15). It could be that knowing his team, Lamoriello doesn’t expect Langenbrunner’s numbers to improve. It could be that the Flyers are actually the only team Langenbrunner would accept a trade to. But even so, you have to think there would be a lot more teams interested in a player like Langenbrunner once the playoff picture solidifies.
I could see a team like the Blues or Phoenix wanting Langenbrunner’s experience for a playoff run. Columbus isn’t that far out of the playoff picture, either, and might be interested in Langenbrunner as a playoff rental, but perhaps even as a long-term investment, too.
But by trading Langenbrunner so early, Lamoriello isn’t going to hear any of those kinds of offers.
He’s probably thinking a solid offer now is preferable to a potentially better offer that might not materialize. But I have to believe there’s always going to be interest in a player like Langenbrunner.
So once again, we see Lamoriello looking for the quick and easy fix, rather than looking for a better move.
In fact, the recent history of the Devils seems to be taking shortcuts wherever possible. Throw all of your money at one superstar, rather than spreading the money among different pieces. Return to your previous coach rather than find someone new (although that’s been Lamoriello’s signature move for quite some time).
Moving Langenbrunner early is better than not moving him at all, but it’s got to be disappointing to Devils fans that Lamoriello seems to be taking the first offer for Langenbrunner rather than waiting for the best one.