Langenbrunner could be a valuable piece for Philly.
It has been a season to forget for the New Jersey Devils as they sit in last place in all of hockey with only 22 points and 10 wins—as horrendous as the Phantoms have been this year, Adirondack still has more wins than the Devils in less games.
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello appears to have reached the point where he’s decided it’s time to shake things up a bit. According to Rich Chere of the Star Ledger, Lamoriello has asked his captain Jamie Langenbrunner, who was a healthy scratch on Thursday against Philadelphia, to waive his no-trade clause.
The Flyers are one of “several teams” to have interest in the 35-year-old right wing, and are offering New Jersey two draft picks—a third and fifth rounder as reported by the Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi.
Langenbrunner carries with him a $2.8 million cap hit, and will become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season. If you’re wondering if the orange and black have enough room to bring him into the fold, the answer is yes.
The Flyers have $3.6 million in acquisition space available; they only have $413,000 in cap space, however they’re permitted to to add a full season cap hit to the current roster because long-term injured reserve is factored into the total (per Capgeek.com).
Langenbrunner, who has been the New Jersey’s captain for the last three-plus years, isn’t having the best of seasons, but then again who is for the Devils? In 31 games, the Minnesotan has four goals and 10 assists for 14 points and is a brutal minus-15 this year.
It’s believed that he wants to stay on the East Coast.
Why are the Flyers interested in Langenbrunner?
Pretty simple: playoff experience, depth and one heck of a resume.
Langenbrunner has 232 goals and 388 assists in 996 games in his 15-year NHL career. He has four 20-goal seasons under his belt, and has won two Stanley Cups—one with Dallas in 1999 and New Jersey in 2003. In terms of playoff experience, Langenbrunner has played in 137 postseason games and has 86 points.
The Flyers, who were a Michael Leighton five-hole save away from possibly extending the Stanley Cup Finals to a Game 7 in Chicago, could always use another veteran leader to use in the playoffs. Remember the role Billy Guerin was going to fill when he signed a tryout deal with the team during the preseason? Langenbrunner would fill those shoes.
On paper, depth up front is not a necessity for Philly as they’re already very deep up front. With three solid lines in place already, adding Langenbrunner would only create a bigger logjam for coach Peter Laviolette. Considering Dan Carcillo, Jody Shelley and Nikolay Zherdev are already rotating press box duties, two of the three would become healthy scratches for each game.
That is unless Flyers GM Paul Holmgren decides to waive or trade one of Carcillo, Shelley or Zherdev.
Should the Flyers acquire Langenbrunner, he would be a huge upgrade at right wing. He brings another scoring option despite a miserable season thus far, and a winger who can play Laviolette’s system. He can play in all aspects of the game, and back checks very well.
Imagine a line consisting of Andreas Nodl, Mike Richards and Langenbrunner. Talk about one heck of a shutdown line with some scoring touch to boot.
If Holmgren can pull off this deal, it will go down as another positive mark on his resume as general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers.