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Habs acquire Robert Lang

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL -- Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Friday the acquisition of forward Robert Lang from the Chicago Blackhawks, in return for a second-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft (acquired from Toronto along with Greg Pateryn, in return for Mikhaïl Grabovski on July 3, 2008).

Robert Lang, 37, will be entering his 15th NHL season in 2008-09. Last season, the centreman played 76 games with the Blackhawks, recording 54 points (21 goals, 33 assists), posting a plus-9 rating and serving 50 penalty minutes. It was the eighth consecutive season in his NHL career in which he recorded 50 points or more.

“This is a young team with a lot of talent and I’m looking forward to bringing some added experience,” said Lang. “This is an exciting group with plenty of skill. This is going to be great and I can’t wait to get to Montreal.”

Since breaking into the NHL back in 1992-93 with the Los Angeles Kings, Lang played 875 regular-season games in the NHL, recording 635 points (234 goals and 401 assists), including 77 powerplay goals. He was also assessed 358 penalty minutes. In his NHL career, he played for Los Angeles, Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington, Detroit and Chicago. His most productive season was in 2000-01 when he recorded 80 points (32 goals, 48 assists) in 82 games with the Penguins.

“Alex [Kovalev] and I had some really good times together in Pittsburgh and now we’ll get the chance to revisit that chemistry,” said Lang, who spent four seasons with Kovalev in Pittsburgh. “I also know Roman Hamrlik. We played together internationally at the Olympics with the Czech Republic.”

Born in Teplice, Czech Republic, Lang also played 87 playoff games recording 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists).

Lang, 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds, was a seventh round selection, 133rd overall, by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. He played in the 2004 NHL All-Star game as a member of the Washington Capitals.

"Robert was the first guy on our list on the trade front," noted Gainey.  "We've been trying to fill that center position and now we have with a guy who gives more size and strength down the middle.  It was important to get things settled before training camp. Now, I'm ready to put this team in the coaches' hands."

On the world stage, Lang represented his country at the Olympic Games on four occasions, winning the gold medal in Nagano, back in 1998, and a bronze medal at the Torino games in 2006. He also played with the Czech National team in three World Championships and was a member of the national team for the 1996 World Cup.

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