Does Rod Langway Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Rod Langway won two Norris trophies and finished 2nd in Hart trophy voting to Wayne Gretzk once. He totally belongs, right?

However, Langway is the basically only purely defensive defenseman to win the Norris trophy in the trophy’s history. (Or, if you prefer, he’s the only purely defensive defenseman to win it since Bobby Orr transformed the position.)

Listen to us discuss whether or not he belongs:

Class of 2002: Rod Langway, Bernie Federko, Clark Gillies

Rod Langway’s Career:

  • NHL: 1978-93; 15 seasons, 14 quality
  • Only Taiwan-born player in NHL history
  • Totals:
    • 51G, 
    • 278A for 
    • 329P, 
    • +276 in 
    • 994 games; 
    • 78.1 PS
    • Langway was 13th All Time in Defensive Point Shares at his retirement
  • Draft: In his draft class (1977), Langway, drafted 36th overall, is
    • 31st in Goals
    • 12th in Assists
    • 17th in Points
    • 2nd in Plus/Minus
    • 4th in Games
  • Era: Of the 34 players to play in at least 750 games between 1978 and 1993, Langway is
    • 27th in Goals
    • 30th in GPG
    • 24th in Assists
    • 25th in APG
    • 26th in Points, PPG and Offensive Point Shares
    • 5th in Plus/Minus
    • 4th in Defensive Point Shares
    • 12th in Point Shares
  • 82-game average: 5G, 29A for 33P, +23
  • 3-year peak (1979-82): 82-game average of 8G, 36A for 44P, +57; 9.5 PS
  • No possession stats
  • Playoffs:
    • 5G, 
    • 22A for 
    • 27P, 
    • +6 in 
    • 104 games
    • Era: of the 116 players to play in at least 82 playoff games between 1978 and 1993, Langway is
      • 107th in Goals
      • 106th GPG
      • 91st in Assists
      • 93rd in APG
      • 100th in Points
      • 101st in PPG
      • 61st in Plus/Minus
  • Adjusted:
    • Hockey Reference:
      • 40G, 223A for 263P
      • Adjusted 82-game average: 3G, 18A for 22P (-11P per 82 games)
      • Obviously Langway isn’t on any adjusted PG leaderboard
    • VsX: Langway doesn’t qualify for the adjustment
  • Traded at 25 with Doug Jarvis (27), Brian Engblom (27) and Craig Laughlin (almost 25) to Washington for Ryan Walter (24) and Rick Green (26) – Our 20th Worst Habs Trade of All Time.
  • WHA:
    • 3G, 18A for 21P, +10 in 52 games
    • Playoffs: 0P, -2 in 4 games.

Rod Langway’s Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 in Hart voting three times
  • Norris (‘83, ‘84)
  • Top 5 in Norris voting a further three times
  • Top Player:
    • Top 5 in Defensive Point Shares six times (‘80, ‘81, ‘82, ‘84, ‘85, ‘86)
  • Plus Minus:
    • Top 5 in Plus/Minus twice
  • All Star:
    • 1st Team All Star twice, 
    • 2nd All Star Team once
    • 6 All Star Game appearances
  • VsX Peak: doesn’t qualify

Rod Langway’s Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • Role Player (by points) on one Final Four (‘90 Capitals), 
    • Injured (missed half the games) in an unknown role (scored 0 points) on one Champion (‘79 Canadiens)
  • Canada/World Cup:
    • Role Player (by points) on one Canada Cup “Bronze”* (‘81 USA)

[*We awarded third place to the US team in the 1981 Canada Cup even though there was no official third place aware.]

Defensive Defencemen:

We also talked about Langway in our “defensive defencemen” episode:

Defensive Defencemen

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