Robert Lang (ice hockey)
December 19, 1970 |
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||216 lb (98 kg; 15 st 6 lb)|
|Played for||Los Angeles Kings
Detroit Red Wings
|National team|| Czech Republic
|NHL Draft||133rd overall, 1990
Los Angeles Kings
Playing career 
A native of Czechoslovakia, Lang began his career in the Czechoslovak Extraliga as an eighteen-year old with HC Litvínov. After scoring 15 points in 32 games in 1989–90, his second season with HC Litvínov, he was drafted 133rd overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.
Lang returned to play another two seasons in the Extraliga before debuting with the Kings in 1992–93. He played the majority of his first two seasons in the International Hockey League with the Kings' minor league affiliate, the Phoenix Roadrunners.
Due to the lockout-shortened 1994–95 season, Lang returned to HC Litvínov (now of the Czech Extraliga) for 16 games, scoring 23 points. When NHL play resumed, he landed a full-time roster spot with the Kings. He tallied 22 points in 68 games in 1995–96 before returning to the Czech Extraliga to play for HC Sparta Praha.
After a brief hiatus from the NHL, Lang returned after one season in Europe, joining the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent on September 2, 1997. He was subsequently bounced back and forth between the Penguins and Boston Bruins for a couple of months before he stuck with the Penguins.
He remained with the Penguins, joining fellow Czech Jaromir Jagr and increasing his points total in each of his first four seasons with the team. In 2000–01, he scored a career-high 32 goals, 48 assists and 80 points in 82 games. That season, the Penguins reached the Eastern Conference finals, but were defeated in five games by the New Jersey Devils. Lang added 8 points in 16 playoff games.
After the 2001–02 season, Lang became an unrestricted free agent and signed with the Washington Capitals. In Washington, he was re-united with Jagr, who had been traded to the Capitals the year before. He scored 69 points in his first season with Washington, second in team scoring to Jagr.
During the 2003–04 season, Lang was enjoying another career year and recorded his first career hat trick on November 12, 2003. He was leading the NHL in scoring when he was traded to the Stanley Cup-contending Detroit Red Wings for prospect Tomas Fleischmann, a first-round draft choice (Mike Green) in 2004 and a fourth-round draft choice in 2006. This marked the first time in NHL history that a player was traded while leading the league in points. Shortly after the trade, he was sidelined with a broken rib on March 8. Missing 13 games, he surrendered the NHL scoring lead to Martin St. Louis and finished with 79 points in 69 games, one point shy of his career-high set in 2000–01 and ninth overall in the league (his points-per-game of 1.14 was identical to St. Louis'). Lang returned to the Red Wings in time for the playoffs, but they were eliminated by the Calgary Flames in the second round. He recorded a career-high 9 points in 12 playoff games.
In addition to Lang's ninth place finish in league scoring, he had participated in his first NHL All-Star Game in 2004 and was also awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top Czech hockey player at the end of the season.
Lang remained with the Red Wings until the end of the 2006–07 season, but his production dipped each of his remaining campaign in Detroit. Before signing a two-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks as an unrestricted free agent in the off-season, Lang embarked on another playoff run with the Red Wings in 2007, but they were halted by the eventual Stanley Cup champions Anaheim Ducks in the semi-finals. Lang recorded 8 points in 18 playoff games.
In Chicago, Lang recorded 54 points playing behind rookie standouts Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane; Lang finished fourth in team scoring. After just one season with the Blackhawks, he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for a second-round draft pick in 2010 (previously acquired from Toronto) on September 12, 2008.
Lang recorded a natural hat trick, the second three-goal effort of his career, in his first season with the Canadiens, against the New York Rangers on January 7, 2009, in a 6-3 win. He scored his three goals on the power play, even-strength, and short-handed in an empty net. Having played 50 straight games for the Canadiens, leading them in goal scoring, power play points and second on the team in overall points, Lang suffered an achilles tendon injury, sidelining him for the remainder of the regular season.
On September 29, 2009, Robert Lang was signed by the Phoenix Coyotes to a 1-year contract, just days before the start of the 2009-2010 NHL season. During this season, Lang recorded 29 points in 64 regular season games while missing the last 17 games of the regular season due to a lower-body injury. His offensive contribution and veteran leadership helped lead the Coyotes to their first playoff berth since the 2001-2002 season. The Phoenix Coyotes were defeated by the Detroit Red Wings in seven games in the first round of the 2009-2010 playoffs. Lang played in four of the seven games, recording one assist.
International play 
|Men's ice hockey|
|Representing Czech Republic|
Lang first debuted internationally with Czechoslovakia in the 1992 Winter Olympics. Lang scored 13 points in 8 games, third in tournament scoring, as Czechoslovakia defeated the United States in the bronze medal game. That same year, Lang competed for Czechoslovakia in the 1992 World Championships, held in his home country. Scoring 4 points in 8 games, Lang captured his second bronze medal with Czechoslovakia.
In 1996, Lang competed with the Czech Republic in his second World Championships and won the country's first gold medal at the tournament (Czechoslovakia had won six times previously). Lang scored 9 points in 8 games. Later that year, Lang competed in the inaugural World Cup (replacing the Canada Cup), however, the Czechs lost all three round-robin games and did not advance to the medal rounds. Lang failed to register a point.
In 1998, Lang competed in his second Winter Olympics, capturing gold on a team with Dominik Hasek and Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Jaromir Jagr. He scored 2 points in 6 games as the Czechs defeated Canada in the semi-finals, then Russia in the final.
Four years later, Lang once again suited up for the Czechs in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Lang scored 3 points in 4 games, but the Czechs were kept from defending their gold medal, falling to Russia in the quarter-finals.
Competing in his fourth Olympics, Lang tallied 4 assists in 8 games as team captain in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin as the Czechs returned to the Olympic medal podium, capturing bronze against Russia. It would prove to be his last Olympics, as, at the age of 39, he would not be invited back for a fifth turn during the 2010 Winter Olympics, despite still playing in the NHL. The Czechs finished 5th, failing to reach the medal podium.
Personal life 
Former Detroit Red Wings teammate (and fellow Czech) Jiri Hudler spent time living in Lang's home, as Lang took him under his wing during his time in Detroit. Lang refers to Hudler as his "third son".
Awards and achievements 
- June 16, 1990 – Drafted 133rd overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.
- September 2, 1997 – Signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- September 28, 1997 – Claimed by the Boston Bruins from the Pittsburgh Penguins in Waiver Draft.
- October 25, 1997 – Claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Penguins from the Boston Bruins.
- July 1, 2002 – Signed as a free agent by the Washington Capitals.
- February 27, 2004 – Traded to the Detroit Red Wings from the Washington Capitals for Tomas Fleischmann, a first-round draft choice (Mike Green) in 2004 and a fourth-round draft choice (Luke Lynes) in 2006.
- July 2, 2007 – Signed to a two-year contract by the Chicago Blackhawks.
- September 12, 2008 – Traded to the Montreal Canadiens by the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2010 (previously acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs).
Career statistics 
|1988–89||HC Chemopetrol Litvínov||Czech||7||3||2||5||0||8||3||3||6||0|
|1989–90||HC Chemopetrol Litvínov||Czech||32||8||7||15||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990–91||HC Chemopetrol Litvínov||Czech||56||26||26||52||38||—||—||—||—||—|
|1991–92||HC Chemopetrol Litvínov||Czech||43||12||31||43||34||—||—||—||—||—|
|1992–93||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||11||0||5||5||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|1993–94||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||32||9||10||19||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||HC Chemopetrol Litvínov||CzRep||16||4||19||23||28||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||36||4||8||12||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||68||6||16||22||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|1996–97||HC Sparta Praha||CzRep||38||14||27||41||30||5||1||2||3||4|
|2003–04||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||6||1||4||5||0||12||4||5||9||6|
|2005–06||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||72||20||42||62||72||6||3||3||6||2|
|2006–07||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||81||19||33||52||66||18||2||6||8||8|
- "Robert Lang on NHL.com". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2008-09-13.[dead link]
- "2002-03 Washington Capitals (NHL)". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- "Lang's hat trick lifts Habs over Rangers". CBC. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2009-01-10.
- White, Joseph (February 28, 2004). "Red Wings acquire Lang from Capitals". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- "Injuries may prove toughest opponents". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- "Blackhawks sign free agent center Robert Lang". USA Today. 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- "Canadiens acquire Robert Lang from Blackhawks". CBC Sports. 2008-09-12. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- [dead link]
|Golden Hockey Stick