|The St. Louis Blues Welcome The Experience Brought By Langenbrunner|
|July 7, 2011 by Sean Hartnett, JL15.com contributor|
St. Louis will be the new home for two-time Stanley Cup winner Jamie Langenbrunner. The Blues haven't lifted the Stanley Cup since their infancy as part of the National Hockey League's 1967 expansion but are hoping his experience will rub off on a team full of emerging stars.
Langenbrunner will join up with fellow Minnesotans David Backes and former 33rd overall pick Philip McRae. Backes led the Blues with 62 points last year and played alongside Jamie at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as the duo helped USA achieve the silver medal. McRae, son of former Minnesota North Stars' and Blues' enforcer Basil McRae will be looking to learn the ropes from the veteran Langenbrunner.
Mixing talented youth and experienced pros has been the priority of Blues' General Manager Doug Armstrong. Already possessing Barret Jackman and Andy McDonald, Armstrong added eleven-year veteran Scott Nichol. Armstrong worked as an assistant to Dallas Stars' Stanley Cup-winning GM Bob Gainey and has a familiarity with both Langenbrunner and fellow new addition Jason Arnott from his time in Dallas. They have each been awarded $2.5M base contracts for one-year with potential bonuses earning them an additional $300K.
T.J. Oshie and Matt D'Agostini have both agreed to new deals this summer and there is a feeling of optimism around the Gateway City. Jaroslav Halak is one of the most gifted net-minders around the NHL and the Blues acquired goal-machine Chris Stewart from Colorado in February. There are plenty of promising young talents on the roster such as Oshie, Stewart, D'Agostini, Alex Pietrangelo and Patrik Berglund.
The Blues finished 11th place in the Western Conference in 2010-11 but are expecting to return to the playoffs with their newly-molded lineup. Their passionate fans filled the Scottrade Center for 41 sell-outs and will be giving Langenbrunner a warm welcome when he takes the ice in their season opener against Nashville on October 8th.
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