For the most part, the St. Louis Blues are a young club. Leadership is vital to young clubs, especially of the veteran quality. The Blues lost one of these veteran leaders with the announcement that forward Jamie Langenbrunner needs hip surgery to repair a torn labrum.
Less than ten percent of Langenbrunner’s career came with the Blues having played seventy four games with the club including four this season. Being a healthy scratch for a few games of the shortened 2013 season may have masked the injury for awhile, but when push came to shove, Langenbrunner fell to the ice.
Almost two decades of hockey for the thirty seven year old resulted in over a thousand games played. But the skates of Langenbrunner are likely to be hung up for good.
The Blues signed the seasoned veteran as a free agent in 2011 and got him on board again in 2012. There is no doubt Langenbrunner was accepting of his new role. As a fourth liner, he would be providing depth. However, as a leader he provided inspiration, calmness and a winning attitude. All of which are vital to a young squad.
The loss of Langenbrunner will create a void in the Blues locker room. Captaining St. Louis will still be David Backes but his supplemental support took a blow. It will fall on the shoulders of players like Alex Steen and Alex Pietrangelo to step up to fill that leadership hole.