NEWARK - The New Jersey Devils traded their captain, Jamie Langenbrunner, to the Dallas Stars for a conditional second-round draft pick Friday.
But general manager Lou Lamoriello dismissed talk that the last-place Devils are in a rebuilding phase.
"I despise the word 'rebuilding,' " Lamoriello said in a conference call. "We have to look at the reasons why we're in this position. Maybe it's talent. Maybe it's chemistry. We have to be very careful and look at the big picture."
Lamoriello did not rule out future deals, but he did emphatically deny any thoughts of trading All-Star goaltender Martin Brodeur, who has been a careerlong Devil and led the franchise to three Stanley Cup titles.
"No," was the one-word response Lamoriello gave when asked about the possibility. "But there could be more deals. We're making every decision to push ourselves forward and get out of what we're in right now."
Lamoriello said that there was no subliminal reason why Langenbrunner was dealt, although Langenbrunner and coach Jacques Lemaire have had their differences in the past.
"With the status of our payroll, we were not going to re-sign Jamie next year," Lamoriello said. "We want to see some of our younger players and Jamie doesn't deserve to be in a role of being less important in terms of ice time. It has nothing to do with Jamie as a person or a player. Our relationship has been upfront and forward. I don't have any issues with Jamie."
The Devils will receive a second-round pick in the 2012 draft if the Stars advance one round in the playoffs, or if Langenbrunner re-signs with Dallas. Otherwise, the Devils get a third-rounder.