- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 4, 2002

There were times when the Washington Capitals had the reputation of being a quiet, conservative team on which players rarely ran off at the mouth or had something worthwhile to say.
Robert Lang arrived yesterday, and he is not afraid to talk. He usually has something compelling to say. And the man can play the game.
The latest Washington acquisition was introduced to the media yesterday at MCI Center and did nothing to harm his reputation as a quick-witted individual who enjoys exercising his vocal cords.
Case in point: The former Pittsburgh Penguin responded to a question that the Caps "are really close to being a great team "
Which brought about the predictable follow-up questions: What do you mean by really close? Who would you like to see added to the team?
"I would like to see myself added," he shot back without hesitation, drawing plenty of laughter. "That, in my mind, was a nice addition. I just think this team is really close, and I don't know what [new coach Bruce] Cassidy has in mind, but the reason I was brought here was to win the Stanley Cup, and I really like that. I like the aggressive approach."
Lang was brought here because the Caps needed an offensive center. The only one they had last season, Adam Oates, was traded to Philadelphia on March19.
Lang played with Jaromir Jagr in Pittsburgh and for the Czech Republic during the past two Olympics. He was not Jagr's normal center in Pittsburgh because he was able to communicate better than other Penguins centers with temperamental right wing Alexei Kovalev. It has not been determined whether he will skate with Jagr here.
"It doesn't make any difference," the center said. "I didn't play with Jaromir that much when we were together in Pittsburgh, so it wasn't like I came here just to play with him. [Whoever Langs linemate] is going to be, whether it is Jaromir or Peter [Bondra], I think both of them are great players and it is a great team, so there should not be a bad player on the team."
Notes
There are fears that right wing Ulf Dahlen may have played his last game as a Cap. The Swedish forward could test the unrestricted free agent waters in the NHL or play in his native country, where he has standing offers. Dahlen was on a career pace last season playing on the first line with Jagr before an injury in mid-December. When he returned a month later he was relegated to the checking line, where he played a season earlier, and he was not pleased, according to teammates. Dahlen, 34, refused to discuss the issue. If he does not return, the team will have trouble filling his spot. The pending decision on Lang's line placement has temporarily stalled efforts to deal with other manpower issues within the team.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide