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Q&A with Jamie Langenbrunner

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues
The Blues signed forward Jamie Langenbrunner to a one-year contract this summer, bringing some important veteran leadership to a young team on the rise.

Langenbrunner has won two Stanley Cups (1999 with Dallas and 2003 with New Jersey) and served as team captain for Team USA in the 2010 Olympics, where he led an underdog team to a Silver Medal.

He has played in 16 NHL seasons, scoring 638 points (237 goals, 401 assists) in 1,035 games. He has scored 86 points (33 goals, 53 assists) in 137 postseason appearances.

Langenbrunner arrived in St. Louis recently to prepare for the upcoming season. He took some time to answer a few questions for

You’ve played a lot of your recent career in the Eastern Conference. That being said, how much did you really know about the Blues coming in?
Not a whole lot. In the Eastern Conference you see the West sporadically at best. But what I saw was a good young team on the cusp of taking that next step. From being here the little while I’ve been here and skating with the guys, I’m seeing some very talented young players that are learning to play in the NHL and have had 3-4 years to get accustomed (to it). I think they’re ready to take it to the next level.

You played with David Backes on Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics, where you won a Silver Medal. You could probably get a good idea about the type of team the Blues were just from spending time on the ice with Backes.
Being from Minnesota, I knew a little bit about Backes. Anytime you have someone from your home state (move up), you take notice of them. He’s a great player. He plays the game the right way, plays it hard, plays it physical, plays it straight up. You know you’re going to get an honest effort from him every night, and he’s a great guy to set the tone for the team.

As captain for the Olympic team, which was considered by many to be big underdogs, you came away with a Silver Medal. Looking back, are you proud of your accomplishments there?
Yeah, I think looking back on it, I think we can say we did well. We went there with the focus of winning the Gold Medal, and we gave ourselves that opportunity. We played well throughout the entire tournament right from Game 1, and we set ourselves up with the best chance possible. We obviously lost to a very talented team in Canada. I don’t think we’ll ever feel satisfied because we felt we could have won the Gold Medal, but I think all-in-all, it was a great two weeks and we’re pretty proud of the way we came together and changed the thought of how nobody was giving us a chance. We all knew going in that we were going to be pretty good.

Was it an easy decision to sign with St. Louis this summer?
Nothing is easy when you’re trying to figure out your career, your life and having a family and kids. Nothing’s easy when it comes to that. As a visiting team, you spend a little time downtown and that’s about it, but St. Louis is a great city. We’ve enjoyed our first couple weeks here and we feel real comfortable already. I’m sure we’ll continue to do so.

What are your expectations about what you can bring to the Blues at this point in your career?
I definitely have some experience now that may have been missing in this dressing room. First off, I think I can still play this game. I want to be a good example of being a consistent player night in and night out. You don’t always have to get on the scoreboard to be helping the team win, and I think the bottom line is winning. We need to get to that level where we expect to win every night. (Winning every game) is obviously not going to happen, but you have to give yourself the best opportunity to do that. I think guys are in place and wanting to do that, and hopefully the experience that Doug Armstrong brought it with (Jason) Arnott, myself, Scott (Nichol) and Kent Huskins, guys that have been around, can hopefully add to that and give a little more even keel as we go through the year.

You’ve only been here a few days, so this question is probably very premature, but do you see some of the same qualities in the Blues that you had with Dallas and New Jersey when you won Stanley Cups?
Yeah, it’s a little early for that. We’ve only been doing a few skates together, but I think (those things) form themselves, and you get a special feeling in the locker room about what guys are capable of doing and a special feeling about the way you’re playing together. That takes some time. From talent-wise, yeah, there’s great talent in this room and I think you have to take it step-by-step. You can’t be thinking about winning the Stanley Cup in August. We have to make the necessary steps. That should be our goal.

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