DALLAS — Jamie Langenbrunner spent seven and a half seasons as a member of the Dallas Stars through two separate stints with the club, including being a key contributor on the Stars’ 1999 Stanley Cup championship team. So hearing his name included among the members of the Stars’ 20th Anniversary Team wasn’t a big shocker.
However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a huge honor for the ex-Star and current member of the St. Louis Blues.
“Yeah, it was a neat honor for me. I’ve played with pretty much everybody on that team, pretty special guys,” Langenbrunner said during Sunday’s Blues/Stars game at American Airlines Center. Being in that group was an honor for me. I always like coming back to the city, enjoy the people here. It’s definitely a great honor for me.”
The 37-year-old winger is currently on injured reserve with St. Louis, a club that is currently coached by former Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock and he will not return to the ice this season after having hip surgery around two weeks ago.
And with Langenbrunner on a one-year contract which expires at season’s end, he realizes his future in the Gateway City and maybe even in the NHL in general is a bit iffy going forward, but he’ll worry about that bridge if and when he comes to it.
“Not if I have anything to say about it, but you never know what happens. This is not perfect timing for me,” he said. “I had a labrum tear that I had surgery on two weeks ago. It’s going well, close to getting off the crutches hopefully and feel good. I’m ready to begin the rehab, which will take four to six months but hopefully quicker.”
Langenbrunner’s hip issue was something that had been mounting over time but it really became a serious problem for him this season as he skated in just four games with one assist prior to having his surgery last month.
“Yeah, it’s been over time. It just got to a point where it just got too irritated to have the ability to push off anymore so had to get it done,” he said.
But injured or not, Langenbrunner, who is currently on crutches, admits it’s always nice to return to Big D and to receive the warm reception he did from the Stars fans when he was introduced before the puck dropped on Sunday’s matinee between St. Louis and Dallas.
“Yeah, it was definitely nice. You never know what to expect but the fans here are fantastic and obviously I loved my time playing here,” he said.
Of course, he will most be remembered for being part of what to date has been the Stars’ only Cup-winning team, that magical ’99 squad that featured the likes of Ed Belfour, Brett Hull and Mike Modano, a group he considers himself quite fortunate to have skated with during his successful first stint in the Lone Star State.
“Definitely a team you look back at the depth we had, but I think the closeness of the group [is what I remember most]. We had a lot of fun both on and off the ice. Definitely friends that you keep for life, went out to dinner with Hully and Carbo and Brenden last night,” Langenbrunner said. “It’s nice to have those friendships and be part of those teams. I think great teams build those bonds and that’s part of the reason we were such a good team.”