Rod Langway   June 19, 2002


Message Board



                                  Message Board                                                       Home
June 19th, 2002 the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced that Capitals standout defenseman Rod Langway has been selected for induction to their ranks.  Langway, one of only three Capitals to have their number retired, joins Mike Gartner as the only Washington skaters in the Hall to date.  Dale Hunter and Dino Ciccerelli were also eligible for induction this year, but were not selected.
Born in Taiwan and raised in Massachusetts excelled as a hockey player in high school and an abbreviated college stay at New Hampshire before going over to the WHA.  He quickly jumped to the NHL at age 21, joining the Montreal Canadiens and played 45 games his first season en route to winning the Stanley Cup (the only time he hoisted the trophy in his career).  His stay in Montreal was short, only four seasons, but he made a mark posting 3 30+ point seasons and plus minus ratings of +36, +53 and an astounding +66 for the Habs.  He learned quickly and well from Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe and Serge Savard soon equaling them in defensive prowess and earning a reputation as an “octopus” on the blue line.  In 1982, though he quarreled with Montreal management over playing time and salary and he was dealt to the fledgling (and struggling) Washington Capitals along with another good young blueliner in Brian Engblom in exchange for Ryan Walter and Rick Green.

He stayed with the Caps for 11 great seasons, quickly becoming the heart, soul and identity of his team.  He won the Norris Trophy in back to back seasons (1982 and 1983) and helped to turn the Caps into contenders for the first time in their history.  They earned their first ever postseason opportunity in his first season there and didn’t miss the playoffs during his tenure.  To many, Langway was a throwback to the old-style defensive rearguard.   Using his size and strength to his advantage, he was extremely difficult to beat one on one.  He was also technically flawless within his own zone, clearing the front of the net and taking charge of the play.  Langway was also regarded as one of the cleanest, hardest hitters in the game.  This "throw-back" style would earn him several All Star selections, as well as his two consecutive Norris trophies.  He would also captain Team USA in the 1984, 87 and 91 Canada Cup tournaments.

Langway was the epitome of Caps hockey throughout the 80’s: hard-working, never complaining, defense first, physical play and willing to get in a scrap or two.  He was one of the last two players allowed to skate without a helmet and seeing his hair flowing as he played on the ice at the old Cap Center is a memory few older Caps fans will ever forget.  If any defenseman deserves to be in the Hall, Langway is it.  He played tough, clean hockey, turned a franchise around, set a tradition of winning in DC, won the Norris, and was one of the classiest captains around.  Congrats, Rod, we’re all cheering for you here!

His Hall of Fame Bio can be found