Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Robert Lang: The Man with the Golden Stick

Robert Lang: The Man with the Golden Stick

A more upbeat news item that got lost in the sudden death of Ivan Hlinka � Robert Lang was awarded the Zlata Hokejka (Golden Stick) as the best Czech hockey player in the world. Lang finished 1st over Nashville�s Tomas Vokoun and NY�s pouty Jaromir Jagr. Lang finished the year with 79 points in 69 regular season games between Washington and Detroit, along with 9 points in 12 playoff games with the Wings (where he was arguably their best forward).

This is the 36th awarding of this honour, which used to be given to the best Czechoslovakian player in the world before the �Velvet Revolution� split the countries apart. Such legends as Peter Stastny, Ivan Hlinka, Vladimir Ruzicka, Robert Svehla, and Milos Holan (who was a star before cancer took his career) have won the award in the past.

For awhile, it was basically the �Dominik Hasek/Jaromir Jagr� award, as each player had a pretty good hold on the thing and won a record 5 Golden Sticks each. Now that both of these players are no longer at their zenith, we�ve seen some new blood lately with Milan Hejduk and now Robert Lang winning the award.

This is truly the pinnacle accomplishment for Lang, who is quite the NHL late bloomer. He didn�t really become an impact star and 2-way force in the NHL until he was 29 years old!
While his fellow Litvinov compatriots adapted to the NHL quite quickly (Slegr, Reichel, and Rucinsky), Lang bounced around between the 3rd/4th lines in LA and Boston, the Czech League, and the IHL before finding his groove with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not many NHL stars have their best years when they are 29-33.

(Interesting Note: Somehow Nashville (and Golbez pet) prospect and Ostravan lady killer Zbynek Irgl managed to get the same amount of points (1) as Detroit's Jiri Fischer.

You girl GIRL, IRGL!)


Yes, the NHL and NHLPA met for a long discussion about the proposed CBA, what kind of expensive steak to order, and other nonsense.

Honestly, I still don�t have the desire to talk about this issue despite the fact I�ve thought about it quite a bit over the months. All of this greed and public posturing is still making me sick, and on the outside, it appears both sides are incredibly stupid. Given how poorly the NHL has been run over the years, this level of stupidity doesn�t really surprise me.

If you want some �outsider� takes on the CBA, head on over to our friends at,, and Is It Hockey Season? for their viewpoints and discussion on the matter.

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