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Sunday, January 9, 2011
A fresh start for Jamie Langenbrunner

By Mark Stepneski

A little more than 24 hours after being traded from the New Jersey Devils to the Dallas Stars, Jamie Langenbrunner was on the ice in Frisco for his first practice with the team.

"The atmosphere is great. I had a lot of fun just being on the ice and around these guys at the first practice, and I'm sure that will grow," Langenbrunner said after Saturday morning's practice in Frisco. "Not a lot of familiar faces in that locker room from when I was here last time, but some really good guys and I am enjoying myself."

Langenbrunner spent part of his day getting acclimated to how the Stars play, watching video and hitting the ice for a practice session.

"It a little different, but hockey is hockey," Langenbrunner said. "There's a little bit of an adjustment period, but I think I got a pretty good grasp of it today. They're being patient with me."

He practiced on line with Steve Ott and Adam Burish and that's where he'll probably play Sunday in Minnesota when he suits up for his first game in his second stint with the Stars.

"He'll probably start there but he does give us a lot of options," said Stars coach Marc Crawford. "We could move him to another line with his ability to play in all situations, power play situations and penalty kill situations. That will be a nice addition for us. He does give us tremendous versatility and having a right shot that's got some skill is nice."

Langenbrunner was traded to New Jersey in 2002. The only player still on the Dallas roster back in those days is Stars captain Brenden Morrow. But there are several people within the organization still around and Langenbrunner is familiar with the area, having spent six-and-half seasons in Dallas. Crawford believes that will be an advantage as Langenbrunner adjust to this trade.

"A big part of being traded -- and I was never traded but I've been fired a number of times -- is getting familiar with the town. You saw last night the response of the fans. That's genuine stuff. You can't make that stuff up," said Crawford. "He's familiar with the town, he's familiar with the building and he comes in here and sees people that have been around here a long time. That's a big part of it - he doesn't have that hurdle to get through. He still has the hurdles to get to know the players. I think the fact that he's got Brenden here is really reassuring to him."

Langenbrunner is looking at the trade as a fresh start after a rough first half of the season in New Jersey. The Devils, who have made the playoffs 13 straight seasons, are the worst team in the league with 22 points (10-29-2).

"Anytime you go through the struggles we were this year it's extremely hard," Langenbrunner said. "Being the captain there I am sure I put a lot more of it on myself than should be and maybe not. That's part of what being in that job is. It was difficult. It's a weight off my shoulders and it's a fresh start. I enjoyed my years there and I am looking forward to something new and a new opportunity."


*D Karlis Skrastins (head), D Matt Niskanen (hand) and F Toby Petersen (leg) are all out for Sunday's game.

*Stars coach Marc Crawford will reveal his starting goalie for the game in Minnesota on Sunday.


"That was pretty special. It's been a while since I played here, but the reception was fantastic."

Stars forward Jamie Langenbrunner on the ovation he received after being shown on the scoreboard watching Friday's Stars-Rangers game at American Airlines Center.

Video: Langenbrunner practices with Stars