Rick Lanz

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Rick Lanz
Born (1961-09-16) September 16, 1961 (age 53)
Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 203 lb (92 kg; 14 st 7 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for Vancouver Canucks
Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Blackhawks
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 7th overall, 1980
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 1980–1993

Richard Roman Lanz (born September 16, 1961 in Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia) is a former professional ice hockey defenceman who spent 10 seasons in the National Hockey League and is best known for his time with the Vancouver Canucks. He was born in Czechoslovakia, but his family defected to Canada following the invasion by the Soviet Union in 1968. He grew up in London, Ontario.

Playing career[edit]

Lanz was selected 7th overall in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks following an excellent junior career with the Oshawa Generals in which he was named the club's top defenceman in three consecutive seasons. He also received the opportunity to represent Canada at the 1980 World Junior Championships.

He immediately broke into the Canucks roster in 1980–81 at the age of just 19 and had a fine rookie year, posting 29 points in 76 games. Unfortunately, the 1981–82 season would prove to be a setback, as he tore knee ligaments 39 games in, forcing him to miss the rest of the regular season and the entire playoffs. The situation would prove doubly disappointing as he was forced to miss the Canucks' surprising march to the Stanley Cup Finals that spring.

In 1982–83 Lanz returned to the ice and hit his stride as an NHL player, recording 10 goals and 48 points, good for 6th on the club. He was also selected to represent Canada at the 1983 World Championships, where he helped the team win a bronze medal. He would follow this up with his finest NHL season in 1983–84, as he posted 18 goals and 57 points (both narrowly missing club records for defencemen) and was named the team's top defenceman. He was especially effective on the power play, and his 14 power-play goals tied for the league lead among defencemen with Edmonton Oilers superstar Paul Coffey.

Lanz would suffer through a disaster 1984–85 season, as he was hobbled by a neck injury and limited to just 19 points. He would return to form the following year, though, posting 53 points to again lead Canuck defencemen. Midway through the 1986–87 season, Vancouver dealt him to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jim Benning and Dan Hodgson. He finished the year with 28 points in 61 games, and matched that total in 1987–88. He was still a useful contributor for the Leafs, but was no longer the dangerous offensive player he had been in Vancouver. After a terrible 1988–89 season in which he was limited by injuries and benchings to just 32 games and 10 points, he was released by Toronto.

His departure from Toronto would essentially mark the end of his NHL career. Unable to find any interest in the NHL, he spent the 1989–90 season in Switzerland. He was signed to a contract by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1990, but would only play a single game for them during the 1991–92 season. Following brief stops in the minor-league systems of the Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning, he retired in 1993.

Lanz finished his career with totals of 65 goals and 221 assists for 286 points in 569 career games, along with 448 penalty minutes.

Coaching career[edit]

Following his retirement, Lanz returned to British Columbia to accept a job in the BCHL as an assistant coach for the Penticton Panthers. He was named head coach of the Langley Thunder in 1995. He would later be united with his brother in-law Mark Holick in South Surrey and found immediate success. He took a team with super-star Scott Gomez to the Royal Bank Cup in Summerside PEI but would lose in the final to a heartbreaking game. The next season Rick would move to the WHL in 1997–98 as an assistant coach for the Tri-City Americans, although he was promoted to the head coaching position only a few games into the season. He would return to Langley the following year, and remain their head coach until 2003.

Lanz was hired as head coach of the Burnaby Express in 2004, and led the team to the Royal Bank Cup in 2006, where they were crowned Canadian Junior A Champions. He left Burnaby to sign on as head coach of the Victoria Grizzlies and after two months as head coach of the Victoria Grizzlies he was offered the head scouting job for western Canada and US for the Colorado Avalanche.

Some notable players that Rick has coached are Scott Gomez, Ivan Huml, Keith Seabrook, Raymond Sawada, Mark & Mike Santorelli, Kyle Turris, Ben Walter, Milan Lucic and Justin Courtnall.

Career statistics[edit]

Junior/Professional[edit]

 Season   Team   League  Regular Season Playoffs
  GP     G     A    Pts   PIM    GP     G     A    Pts   PIM 
1977-78 Oshawa Generals OHL 65 1 41 42 51 -- -- -- -- --
1978-79 Oshawa Generals OHL 66 11 48 59 88 -- -- -- -- --
1979-80 Oshawa Generals OHL 52 18 38 56 51 -- -- -- -- --
1980-81 Vancouver Canucks NHL 76 7 22 29 40 3 0 0 0 4
1981-82 Vancouver Canucks NHL 39 3 11 14 48 -- -- -- -- --
1982-83 Vancouver Canucks NHL 74 10 38 48 46 4 2 1 3 0
1983-84 Vancouver Canucks NHL 79 18 39 57 45 4 0 4 4 2
1984-85 Vancouver Canucks NHL 57 2 17 19 69 -- -- -- -- --
1985-86 Vancouver Canucks NHL 75 15 38 53 73 3 0 0 0 0
1986-87 Vancouver Canucks NHL 17 1 6 7 10 -- -- -- -- --
Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 44 2 19 21 32 13 1 3 4 27
1987-88 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 75 6 22 28 65 1 0 0 0 2
1988-89 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 32 1 9 10 18 -- -- -- -- --
1989-90 HC Ambrì-Piotta Swiss  ? 3 14 17 0 -- -- -- -- --
1990-91 Indianapolis Ice IHL 8 0 5 5 18 -- -- -- -- --
1991-92 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 1 0 0 0 2 -- -- -- -- --
1991-92 Phoenix Roadrunners IHL 38 7 14 21 21 -- -- -- -- --
1992-93 Atlanta Knights IHL 25 6 12 18 30 -- -- -- -- --
NHL Totals 569 65 221 286 448 28 3 8 11 35

International[edit]

Year Team Event   GP     G     A    Pts   PIM 
1979-80 Canada[1] WJC 5 0 1 1 6
1982-83 Canada[2] WC 6 0 2 2 2
Totals 11 0 3 3 8

Coaching[edit]

Season Team League Position Regular season
  G     W     L     T    OTL   Pct 
1996-97 South Surrey Eagles BCHL Head Coach 60 47 7 6 0 .833
1997-98 Tri-City Americans WHL Head Coach 72 17 49 6 0 .278
1998-99 Langley Hornets BCHL Head Coach 60 20 38 0 2 .350
1999-00 Langley Hornets BCHL Head Coach 60 41 17 0 2 .700
2000-01 Langley Hornets BCHL Head Coach 60 29 25 0 6 .533
2003-04 Langley Hornets BCHL Head Coach 60 19 36 1 4 .358
2005-06 Burnaby Express BCHL Head Coach 60 34 20 1 5 .617
Totals 432 207 192 14 19 .517

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Rick Vaive
Vancouver Canucks first round draft pick
1980
Succeeded by
Garth Butcher