Thursday, July 18, 2013
What's next for Langenbrunner? (update)
By Victoria Matiash
UPDATE: His heart appears set on representing his home state. Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune confirms Jamie Langenbrunner has expressed a keen interest in joining the Minnesota Wild to close out his career. And the 37-year-old's agent has already "reached out" to GM Chuck Fletcher. However, beyond other concerns, roster space is an issue. And Russo suggests Langenbrunner is more likely to be extended a tryout as opposed to an actual contract offer.
" ... as cool as it would be to have Langenbrunner in Wild colors, it may be very difficult unless there's another trade this summer to move a forward. But, like I said, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Wild ultimately brings a couple players, maybe including Langenbrunner, into camp on tryouts rather than actual contracts from the outset ..."
A lot can happen between now and the start of the regular season. The Wild's roster currently holds 13 forwards -- including young lads Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle, and Mikael Granlund. There's no guarantee all three will play full-time in the NHL through 2013-14.
*** Veteran forward Jamie Langenbrunner may have little choice but to retire after 16-plus seasons in the NHL. According to TrueHockey.com, the 37-year-old isn't wanted back by the St. Louis Blues.
“I don’t think I'm in their plans,” said Langenbrunner, after being told he wouldn't be offered a new contract in St. Louis.
But Langenbrunner tells Andy Strickland he feels great and isn't ready to hang 'em up yet. In which case, any NHL team -- including the Blues or hometown Minnesota Wild -- might invite the veteran to training camp on a professional tryout. After playing only four games and enduring season-ending hip surgery this season, a deal before then might be out of reach.
However, Langenbrunner's experience and leadership still have value. If he feels as good as he claims, there could be an NHL playing gig available for one last season.