The first attempt came in training camp last season. Coming off the summer of Ilya Kovalchuk that sent the New Jersey Devils into a salary cap emergency, Lou Lamoriello first approached his captain about the possibility of waiving his no-trade clause. Jamie Langenbrunner said no.
He'd been with the Devils for a decade and was part of their identity. He was a connection to the 2003 Stanley Cup-winning team and players like Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer. The timing wasn't right. His kids were settling into school and the idea of uprooting everything to start over had no appeal, so he shot down the idea.
"At that time, I decided I wanted no part of it," Langenbrunner said during a Wednesday phone conversation. "It's very difficult, but on the other hand, we all know it's a business and things change."
Trading a captain isn't easy for anybody. They're usually a player closely connected to the team, one the fans have grown to love. Often they have a close working relationship with the coach and management that is suddenly complicated when the idea of a trade is broached. That was one of the harder parts for Langenbrunner.
"It's tough being a part of something where you know you're not really wanted," He said. "As the season went on, [blocking a trade] is probably a decision I shouldn't have made."
This season, there have been more high-profile captains involved in trade speculation than in typical seasons. It's quite possible the trade deadline will see at least one high-profile captain moved.
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