(AP Photo/Tim Sharp, from ESPN.com)

Jamie Langenbrunner the Dallas Stars’ Cliff Lee?


Throughout my years on this planet I have held allegiances to 2 teams, the Dallas Stars (obviously) and the Texas Rangers.  This past year I saw my Texas baseball team climb the top of the mountain, something I or anyone else had never seen. Sitting at the American Airlines Center watching the Stars crush the Sabres during game 3 of the World Series, I couldn’t help but think that maybe it was time for the Stars this season as well.

To quickly sum up the Rangers 2010 season, they finished the season 90 and 72 finishing nine games ahead of the second place team; they scraped by to win the divisional round and cruised to a convincing win in the ALCS only to be soundly defeated in the World Series by an equally scrappy San Francisco Giants team. The Texas Rangers played in the last possible game of the 2010 season, not a bad achievement.

There were many different catalysts to the Rangers success but one moment stands out as a primary factor, on July 9th the general manager of the Texas Rangers traded one of its top prospects and two other minor league players for Cliff Lee. For those of you not familiar with Cliff Lee he is arguably one of the better postseason pitchers of recent years. GM Jon Daniels took a team who was already winning and gave them an extra piece to show the team that management was behind them.

This was a team who was in a very similar spot to the Stars ownership-wise, the owner Tom Hicks had found his way into serious debt and needed to sell the team. It was thought that without a new owner in place that a trade of that magnitude could not be made, sneaky Jon Daniels got it done and even was able to get Seattle to pay a portion of Lee’s salary in the deal. Shortly after that the ownership quickly fell into place and it was happily ever after for the Rangers (in January anyway).

As Dallas fans already know Tom Hicks owns the Stars as well, and is in a position where he must sell them too. Currently the cash strapped Stars are unable to do much with what they have. Enter sneaky and crafty Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk who was able to get lenders approval and trade a conditional 3rd round pick for the great Jamie Langenbrunner!

Now, I do know that Jamie isn’t necessarily the Cliff Lee of the NHL but he is a winner and a leader and another positive in the locker room. The Stars records prior to the acquisition was 24 – 13 – 4, they were a winning and successful team and Joe made a move to show the team that management was behind them. Since the trade they have gone on to a record of 29 – 14 – 5, collecting points in all but one game. Similar to the Rangers the Stars have won games in many different ways but have a great chemistry and seem to win even when they are not their best.

Obviously it’s not time to run to Vegas and bet your mortgage payments but “Its Time” to get excited about this Stars team. That’s how baseball hockey go!

— Jonathan Collander