Detroit Red Wings
Robert Lang
20
RobertLang
POSITION: Center
HEIGHT: 6' 3"
SHOOTS: Right
WEIGHT: 217
BIRTHDATE: 12/19/1970
BIRTHPLACE: Teplice, CZE
DRAFTED: LAK: 1990-133 overall

Born in Teplice, Czechoslovakia, Robert Lang starred on CHZ Litvinov for parts of four seasons. He was chosen 133rd overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1990 NHL entry draft and is a three time Olympian, capturing bronze in 1992, gold in 1998 while falling short in 2002.

Lang showed glimpses of his immense skill while splitting his first two pro seasons between the Kings and Phoenix Roadrunners of the IHL. He returned to Litvinov during the owner's lockout and then played 36 games when the NHL schedule resumed. The following season, Lang was deployed mostly as a penalty killer before returning home to play for Sparta Praha in 1996-97.

In September 1997, he was picked up on waivers by the Boston Bruins but he did not fit in their plans. A month later, he took the same route and joined the Pittsburgh Penguins. The fast-paced, offensive style of his new team suited Lang and allowed him to put up the numbers once expected of him when he was a prospect. He recorded consecutive 20-goal seasons for the Pens then broke through with 32 goals in 2000-01. That year Lang formed the best second line in the league with Alexei Kovalev and Martin Straka.

Injuries in 2001-02 limited Lang to only 62 games and when the season came to an end he signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals where he joined his former Penguin teammate, Jaromir Jagr. Following parts of two seasons with the Caps, Lang, who was leading the NHL in scoring at the time was dealt to the Detroit Red Wings in the latter stages of the 2003-04 season. Upon his arrival in the Motor City, Lang continued his strong play, yet would fall in the scoring race, finishing the season with 79 points (30-49-79) in 69 games. The following season Lang's point total would again decrease to 62 points with the Red Wings. In Lang's final season with the club, he would tally 52 points before signing with the Chicago Blackhawks as a free agent in the summer of 2007.

As a member of the Blackhawks, Lang managed to record 54 points and finish third in team scoring behind a pair of Patricks; Kane and Sharp. The Blackhawks failed to reach the playoffs that season and as a result were looking to clear some salary cap space in the off-season. As a result, Lang was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens for a second-round pick in the 2010 NHL draft. Lang's first season in Montreal was somewhat bitter-sweet however. After notching 39 points in 50 games and becoming the team's best player, he was sidelined with a slashed tendon on his foot. The unfortunate injury required season-ending surgery and Lang's first season in Montreal came to an abrupt end.

On the international stage, Lang has represented his homeland at the Winter Olympics on three occasions (1998, 2002, 2006).

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame