Rod Langway
Position Defenceman
Shot Left
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
218 lb (99 kg)
Teams Birmingham Bulls
Montreal Canadiens
Washington Capitals
Nationality American
Born May 3, 1957,
Taipei, Taiwan
NHL Draft 36th overall, 1977
Montreal Canadiens
WHA Draft 6th overall, 1977
Birmingham Bulls
Pro Career 1977 – 1993
Hall of Fame, 2002

Rod Cory Langway (born May 3, 1957, in Taipei, Taiwan, and raised in Randolph, Massachusetts) is a former American professional defenceman in the National Hockey League (NHL), elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.

Amateur career Edit

Rod Langway was born when his father, an American serviceman, was stationed in Taiwan, and he is the only NHL player to have been born in Taiwan. He grew up in Massachusetts and did not begin playing hockey until age 13 in 1970, aside from pick-up street hockey games with the neighborhood boys. He then played for his high school team, the Randolph Blue Devils, which he led to state tourney appearances in 1973 and 1975.

Professional career Edit

A left-handed shot, Langway was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL in 1977 and by the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA in the same year. He played one season for the Bulls (1977–78) before joining the Canadiens for the 1978–79 NHL season, and would win the Stanley Cup that year. He played for Montreal until he was traded to the Washington Capitals for the start of the 1982–83 season. The Capitals acquired Langway from the Canadiens in a blockbuster trade—going with Doug Jarvis, Craig Laughlin, and Brian Engblom in exchange for Ryan Walter and Rick Green—that not only saved the franchise from moving out of D.C., but also stocked them for an extended string of postseason appearances. After not making the playoffs in their first eight seasons in the league, the Capitals competed in the postseason in every one of the 11 years that Langway was with the team.

Langway served as the long-time captain of the Capitals, being known as an accomplished leader who demanded greatness from himself and others, and earning the nickname "Secretary of Defense". Many people considered him the franchise's savior.

Langway's predecessors as Norris Trophy winners were the dominant defensemen of the 1970s, like Bobby Orr, Larry Robinson, and Denis Potvin, who had put up high scoring numbers. By contrast, Langway was a traditional defender whose shot was likened to a "cool summer breeze". He scored only three goals during one of his best seasons, though he is remembered by Capitals fans for a game–winning goal in overtime against the New York Rangers' Mike Richter in the 1990 playoffs. Despite his lack of offensive production, his excellence at his position was credited with significantly reducing the Capitals' goals against average, which enabled them to finally make the playoffs.

Langway won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in both 1983 and 1984. He earned two postseason All-Star First Team selections and one Second Team selection as a defenseman—the first American NHL All-Star since Frank Brimsek in 1948. Langway finished runner-up to Wayne Gretzky for the Hart Trophy in 1982. He was also part of the NHL All-Star team that played the Soviet national hockey team in Rendez-Vous '87. Upon his retirement from the NHL in 1993, Langway was the last active player who won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens during their late-70s dynasty. In international hockey, he represented the United States in the 1981, 1984, and 1987 Canada Cup as well as the 1982 Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments.

Coaching career Edit

Langway served as player-coach for the San Francisco Spiders during their single season as an IHL team in 1995–1996. Langway began his career before helmets were mandatory and was the only member of the Spiders who played without a helmet under a league grandfather clause.

Langway was also an assistant coach under Tom McVie with the American Hockey League's Providence Bruins during the 1997-98 season. He played in ten games that year to assist with on-ice development, during which time he was not granted an exemption to play without a helmet. Providence finished with a mere 19 victories that season, and Langway did not return the following year after McVie was reassigned to be a scout by the Boston organization.

During the 2003–04 season, Langway coached the Richmond Riverdogs expansion franchise in the United Hockey League to a division championship, and a first-round playoff loss to the Elmira Jackals. Team management did not extend Langway's contract after the first season.

Awards and accomplishments Edit

Langway's jersey number (#5) was retired by the Capitals on November 26, 1997, and he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999. His career was crowned with his election to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.

  • Stanley Cup Champions 1979 (Montreal)
  • Norris Trophy: 1982–83, 1983–84 (Washington)
  • NHL All-Star First Team: 1982–83, 1983–84 (Washington)
  • NHL All-Star Second Team: 1984–85 (Washington)
  • All-Star Game: 1981, 1982 (Montreal), 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 (Washington)
  • Canada Cup 1984 All-Star First Team (Team USA)

Career statistics Edit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1975–76University of New HampshireNCAA313131610
1976–77University of New HampshireNCAA3410435352
1977–78Hampton GullsAHL306162250
1977–78Birmingham BullsWHA52318215240009
1978–79Nova Scotia VoyageursAHL186131929
1978–79Montreal CanadiensNHL4543730800016
1979–80Montreal CanadiensNHL777293681103362
1980–81Montreal CanadiensNHL8011344512030006
1981–82Montreal CanadiensNHL6653439116503318
1982–83Washington CapitalsNHL80329327540000
1983–84Washington CapitalsNHL80924336180557
1984–85Washington CapitalsNHL79422265450116
1985–86Washington CapitalsNHL71117186191236
1986–87Washington CapitalsNHL78225275370112
1987–88Washington CapitalsNHL63313162860008
1988–89Washington CapitalsNHL76219216560006
1989–90Washington CapitalsNHL58088391514512
1990–91Washington CapitalsNHL5617824110226
1991–92Washington CapitalsNHL64013132270112
1992–93Washington CapitalsNHL2100020
1994–95Richmond RenegadesECHL6000291124
1995–96San Francisco SpidersIHL4615638
1997–98Providence BruinsAHL100116
NHL totals 994 51 278 329 849 104 5 22 27 97

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Ryan Walter
Washington Capitals captains
Succeeded by
Kevin Hatcher
Preceded by
Doug Wilson
Winner of the Norris Trophy
1983, 1984
Succeeded by
Paul Coffey
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