When his team's won the Stanley Cup, Jamie Langenbrunner rose to the occasion. The 16-year NHL veteran, who won a pair of rings with the Dallas Stars (1999) and New Jersey Devils (2003), announced his retirement Wednesday. The long-time veteran was limited to only four games last season due to injury with the St. Louis Blues and instead of signing on with another team, decided to hang up his skates at age 38.
From the NHLPA:
“It was a dream come true to have the opportunity to play in the NHL for 16 seasons. The friendships I developed with my teammates, and also the people in the communities where I played, will always be cherished by my family and I,” said Langenbrunner. “I would like to thank Bob Gainey, Lou Lamoriello and Doug Armstrong for giving me the opportunity to play against the top players in hockey, in the best league in the world. I'd also like to thank my coaches and teammates for helping a kid from Minnesota enjoy a long, fulfilling hockey career. Finally I'd like to thank my truly amazing family for all their sacrifices they made so I could live my dream.”
Along with the two Cups, Langenbrunner finishes his career with 243 goals, 663 points and a 2010 silver medal with Team USA. His most important work on the ice came in 1999 and 2003, with the Stars and Devils, respectively.
Langenbrunner scored 10 goals and put up 17 points as the Stars beat the Buffalo Sabres for their first Cup in 1999. Three years later, he and the Dallas' leading scorer from that playoff run, Joe Nieuwendyk, were dealt to the Devils. The next season was his best at the time, with 22 goals and 55 points. He'd lead the entire NHL in playoff scoring that spring with 11 goals and 18 points as New Jersey bested the Anaheim Ducks for their third championship.
For the rest of his career, Langenbrunner's teams would never get past the second round, but he would have two more career highlights being named captain of Team USA for the 2010 Olympics and netting his first career hat trick at the age of 34 in his home state of Minnesota:
Summing up his awareness of a lack of a three-goal night in his career, Langenbrunner put it simply: “I was well aware of it. That’s something you know.”
- - - - - - -