We Lose Our Captain America

I had rather have a plain, russet-coated Captain, that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call a Gentle-man and is nothing else.” ~ Oliver Cromwell 

We learned yesterday that we had lost our Captain America.  The man that captained Team USA to the silver medal, and captained the New Jersey Devils for the past four seasons would soon be gone.  He was traded to the Dallas Stars.

Considering the Devils have a slim playoff hope this season, Jamie could find new hope in possibly lifting the Stanley Cup with another team.  After all, Jamie lifted the Cup with the Stars back in 1999.  Any captain that has just a few short years left in his legacy needs one more chance to lift the holy grail once again.

While some players were in shock at my mentioning to them in the locker room last night that Jamie was about to be traded, David Clarkson offered some great insight into what it was like to know and work with Captain America [Devils Trade Langenbrunner].  To watch him explain one of the greatest lessons he learned from the Captain, you can’t help but see how much he meant to his teammate.  They are all going to miss him.

When we were in California, it amazed me that Jamie didn’t agree with what the Kings fans were doing to Kovalchuk during the game.  He wasn’t afraid to talk about it and how it wasn’t right for them to do what they were doing, considering Kovalchuk was never going to their team to begin with.

Over the summer, I was surprised to receive this picture on my phone from the post-press conference of the announcing of Ilya Kovalchuk signing with the Devils.  I had to smile, because Jamie and Zach were also in that photo.  It spoke to me in a HUGE way, because I was happy to see that Jamie was in that photo.  It became my screensaver all throughout the Kovalchuk saga that summer.  It reminded me to not lose faith…Kovy would be a Devil.  I had the smiles of Langenbrunner and Parise to reconfirm that every single time I picked up my phone.

As Jamie leaves, he makes the suggestion that Parise should become the next Captain when he returns to playing again.  I couldn’t agree more.  In these past few years, former Shattuck’s Saint Mary’s alumni that became NHL captains ended up captaining their team to a Stanley Cup shortly afterwards.  The first was Sidney Crosby, followed by Jonathan Toews.  Parise could be that third Shattuck’s alumni to captain their team to the Stanley Cup.

Some of the greatest memories I have of Jamie Langenbrunner all have to do with why I still call him Captain America…the things he used to do to swing in and save the day…that is why he’s one of the greatest Devils I’ve ever laid eyes upon.

Doc Emrick night was my all-time favorite game.  The Devils were trailing 3-2.  Jamie tied up the game to send it into overtime and tallied the goal to win it in overtime.  That night was the most memorable hockey moment in my career.  I believe I called the write-up “Holy Langenbrunner!”

That was why I called him Captain America.  He swung in to save the day.  That was the Captain I revered and respected.

Then he went on to do this…which made me think he was the coolest guy to ever put on a hockey uniform.

I’ll admit…I kept on saying, “Captain Fucking America!” over and over again in the press box after watching the highlight reel over and over again.  I just don’t get tired of it.  That’s the Captain that came in and fought for his teammates.  That was our captain.

But now we say goodbye to our dear captain.  It was a great legacy.  There were the highs and lows, but we will always remember the greatest things that he brought to the New Jersey Devils…he was our Captain America.

(c) 2009 Michelle Kenneth

Heroes Of Our Time – Dragonforce

Lost in a dream, finally it seems,
Emptiness and everlasting madness,
See the sadness grow, watching as we know,
Blinded for our journey for the world,
Call for us, the power in all of us,
So far beyond the blackened sky tonight…
Glorious, forever more in us,
We are victorious, and so alive.

We’ll all find our sacrifice tomorrow,
Our journey on towards a brighter day,
Silent tears we left behind, still so far away,
Across the endless sands,
Through the fields of our despair,
Dream for all eternity, we stand, yeah,
Rise above the universe tonight,
Starchaser…

Fly towards the storm, see the world reborn,
Feel the pain inside, the voice, the sorrow,
Across the distant shores, find the open door,
Stand alone, in judgment for tomorrow.

Years of pain still haunt us all, we saw the last sunrise,
Take me home, in freedom, for a lifetime…
Praying on for the silence, and the last tears will blind,
So glorious, this fight inside, united we stand.

And we’ll all find our sacrifice tomorrow,
Our journey on towards a brighter day,
Silent tears we left behind, still so far away,
Across the endless sands,
Through the fields of our despair,
Dream for all eternity, we stand, yeah,
Rise above the universe tonight,
Starchaser…

Free from this world, here for the last time,
Oceans collide inside of us all,
Believe who we are,
The phoenix will guide us,
Freedom will rise once again.

Save us tonight, the last hope for all of us,
Light-years gone by, we’re still holding on,
Save us tonight, a star shines in all of us,
Far beyond our lives, still our glory lives on.

And we’ll all find our sacrifice tomorrow,
Our journey on towards a brighter day,
Silent tears we left behind, still so far away,
Across the endless sands,
Through the fields of our despair,
Dream for all eternity, we stand, yeah,
Rise above the universe tonight,
Starchaser…Starchaser…

Our kingdom come, we stand as one,
And we will live for always evermore…

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