CAGARY - The house was purchased back in 2001.
However, since Daymond Langkow was traded to the Calgary Flames in 2004, it’s been rented out to other players during the season and just a vacation destination during summertime.
Who would have guessed the Langkow clan would be back living full-time in that same home in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale?
That’s the case after having been traded back to the Coyotes this summer.
“We held onto it, and it worked out coming back. It obviously made the move easier,” Langkow said.
Being able to move back into his own home is not all that is making the veteran centre comfortable in Arizona.
For starters, he’s now 100% over the horrific neck injury he suffered late in the 2009-10
season and kept him out of the lineup for more than a year. There were times when it appeared his career was over.
“Last year was a long year, a tough year. There were definitely times when I didn’t know if I was going to come back,” said Langkow, who played the final four games of the 2010-11 season. “Fortunately, things worked out and I healed.
I got to play a few games last year, which was good for the confidence. I’m looking forward to a fresh start.”
“What Daymond went through for more than a year was really hard on him and his family,” said Flames head coach Brent Sutter. “It was great to have him back when he got back and to see how far he came.
“All summer, my intention was Daymond would be part of the mix because he was healthy. But other things come up along the way, and decisions were made for all the right reasons.”
The right reasons for the Flames, the Coyotes and Langkow.
Sure, it’s been a few years since Langkow was with the Desert Dogs, but the trade meant a reunion with winger Shane Doan, with whom he enjoyed a few strong seasons from 2001 through 2004 and remained close friends — although, they aren’t road roommates this time around.
“I asked if he wanted to bunk up but he declined,” Langkow quipped.
It’s only pre-season, but the pair have regained some of their magic from early in the 2000s.
Langkow didn’t play Thursday night’s clash with the Flames, but he has netted three assists in three pre-season tilts, while Doan had a couple of goals in his pre-season games.
The third part of their line, Ray Whitney, went into the game against the Flames with a goal and an assist in a couple of exhibition tilts.
The Coyotes have a top line with nearly 3,300 combined NHL games, and it’s a spot Langkow, 35, is relishing, especially when his position on Calgary’s depth chart was up in the air.
That’s one reason Langkow was willing to waive his no-trade clause to complete the August deal which brought winger Lee Stempniak to the Flames.
“I thought about it, and it just made sense for both sides,” said the centre who spent six seasons in Calgary and twice reached the 30-goal mark. “For me, personally,
I kinda get a fresh start. Phoenix wasn’t as deep at centre as Calgary was, so I looked at it as a good opportunity.
“I think it’s a good fit.”
Now, it’s a matter of making that a winning fit.
The Coyotes, who have made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, took a big hit when goalie Ilya Bryzgalov bolted via free-agency, but still boast a strong roster.
If Langkow, who has netted 259 goals and 642 points in 1,017 games over his career, can regain his form from before the injury, a third playoff spot is a possibility.
“Hopefully, we can get that chemistry going early and get off to a good start,” he said. “We’ve got a good mix of experience and some young, talented players. As long as we can stay healthy, we should have a good year.”