Word has come down over Twitter that Jamie Langenbrunner is a scratch tonight against the Flyers. The Devil captain who came over from the Stars along with Joe Nieuwendyk in a trade for former Cup hero Jason Arnott and Randy McKay helped lead the franchise to its third Stanley Cup in 2003- stunning the hockey world by upsetting Ottawa in a great Conference Final before taking the Mighty Ducks in seven games.
Langenbrunner teamed with John Madden and Jay Pandolfo to form the top checking line in the game, stifling opponents' best while also contributing offensively. Though none of the trio won the Conn Smythe which was rewarded to losing netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere, any of the three easily could've won it for their outstanding play. Perhaps a boat load of candidates that included Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer and Scott Stevens worked against the best T-E-A-M, which better explains why Giguere won it. However, it doesn't take away from what made that Devil team so special- only further illustrating why they overcame the odds to lift Lord Stanley for great coach Pat Burns.
It's already been almost a decade since Lou Lamoriello pulled the trigger on the deal which turned his team into one of the NHL's best during this era. Langenbrunner has been an integral part of a run that's seen the Devils qualify for the playoffs 13 consecutive times. He's filled whatever role needed. Whether as a top checker, penalty killer or a scorer teaming alongside Travis Zajac and Zach Parise to form ZZ Popps, the 35 year-old two-time Cup winner has been a good Devil. Even if controversy has surrounded him since last year baffling our chief New Jersey resident Hasan, he'll arguably go down as a better No.15 than recently fired coach John MacLean.
If this is indeed it for Langenbrunner's time in Jersey, he should be remembered for all the good things he did to help make the Devils one of the best teams on the ice.