NHL Wiki
Robert Lang
Born December 19, 1970 (1970-12-19) (age 51)
Teplice, Czechoslovakia
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 216 lb (98 kg; 15 st 6 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Right
Played for Los Angeles Kings
Boston Bruins
Pittsburgh Penguins
Washington Capitals
Detroit Red Wings
Chicago Blackhawks
Montreal Canadiens
Phoenix Coyotes
National team  Czech Republic &
NHL Draft 133rd overall, 1990
Los Angeles Kings
Playing career 1988–2010

Robert Lang (born on December 19, 1970) is a former Czech professional ice hockey player.

Playing Career[]

Robert 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 in his second season with HC Litvínov, Robert was drafted 133rd overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. He returned to play another two seasons in the Extraliga before debuting with the Kings in 1992–93.

Robert 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, he returned to HC Litvínov (now of the Czech Extraliga) for 16 games, scoring 23 points.

When NHL play resumed, Robert 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, Robert 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.

Robert 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. Robert added 8 points in 16 playoff games.

After the 2001–02 season, Robert 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, Robert 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, Martin 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').

He 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 Robert'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.

Robert 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, Robert 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. He recorded 8 points in 18 playoff games.

In Chicago, Robert recorded 54 points playing behind rookie standouts Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. He 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.

On January 7, 2009, Robert 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 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, Robert suffered an achilles tendon injury, sidelining him for the remainder of the regular season.

On September 29, 2009, Robert was signed by the Phoenix Coyotes to a one-year contract, just days before the start of the 2009-2010 NHL season.

During this season, Robert 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. Robert played in four of the seven games, recording one assist.

Career Statistics[]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
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
1992–93 Phoenix Roadrunners IHL 38 9 21 30 20
1993–94 Los Angeles Kings NHL 32 9 10 19 10
1993–94 Phoenix Roadrunners IHL 44 11 24 35 34
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
1996–97 Prague EuroHL 4 2 2 4 0 4 2 1 3 2
1997–98 Boston Bruins NHL 3 0 0 0 2
1997–98 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 51 9 13 22 14 6 0 3 3 2
1997–98 Houston Aeros IHL 9 1 7 8 4
1998–99 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 72 21 23 44 24 12 0 2 2 0
1999–00 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 78 23 42 65 14 11 3 3 6 0
2000–01 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 82 32 48 80 28 16 4 4 8 4
2001–02 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 62 18 32 50 16
2002–03 Washington Capitals NHL 82 22 47 69 22 6 2 1 3 2
2003–04 Washington Capitals NHL 63 29 45 74 24
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
2007–08 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 76 21 33 54 50
2008–09 Montreal Canadiens NHL 50 18 21 39 36
2009–10 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 62 9 20 29 28 4 0 1 1 0
NHL totals 987 261 442 703 422 91 18 28 46 24

Awards & Achievements[]

  • NHL All-Star Game: 2004
  • Golden Hockey Stick (best Czech hockey player): 2004

Career Transactions[]

  • 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).

International Play[]

Robert 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, Robert competed for Czechoslovakia in the 1992 World Championships, held in his home country. Scoring 4 points in 8 games, he captured his second bronze medal with Czechoslovakia.

In 1996, Robert 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). He scored 9 points in 8 games.

Later that year, Robert 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. He failed to register a point.

The following year, Robert competed in the 1997 World Championships, defeating Russia in the bronze medal game. He scored 2 points in 8 games.

In 1998, Robert 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, Robert once again suited up for the Czechs in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He scored 3 points in 4 games, but the Czechs were kept from defending their gold medal, falling to Russia in the quarter-finals.

In 2004, Robert saw his only hockey action of the 2004–05 season at the World Cup due to the NHL lockout. The Czechs were defeated 4-3 in overtime in the semi-finals against Canada.

Competing in his fourth Olympics, Robert 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 Robert's last Olympics as at 39 years old, 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[]

As of December of 2013, Robert resides in San Diego, California with his wife Jennifer and two sons Kelly & Brooks.

Robert's former Detroit Red Wings teammate (and fellow Czech) Jiri Hudler spent time living in Robert's home as he took him under his wing during his time in Detroit. He refers to Hudler as his "third son."