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Welcome to The Real DFG's Pittsburgh Penguin Autograph Project. My goal is to eventually try and get at least one autograph of every player to lace up the skates in an NHL game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. It could have been for one game or 700 games, I will add them. Occasionally I may post cards of former players in their new team uniforms. While the goal is to get autos in Pens uni's, it isn't always possible. Since the team has been in existence since 1967, the list is pretty large. Last I checked, it was somewhere in the range of 624 different players. Currently, I sit at about 100 autographs (with some duplication). Enjoy the posts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Robert Lang

This is another of those ever prevalent Pinnacle Be A Player Signature cards.  There are a ton of these out there and that's because it is a 300 card set with both silver and gold parallel versions.  This Robert Lang was picked up, once again, from one of those discount boxes at a show.  Probably cost me a buck or two.

Robert Lang was highly touted when coming to Pittsburgh after spending time toiling in the King's farm system.  He came from the Czech Republic, where he was actually playing during the locked-out 1994-95 season.  This worked well for him when he joined the Pens in 1997 as fellow countryman, Jaromir Jagr was on the team.

He spent the better part of five seasons with Pittsburgh, putting up 22pts in 1997-98, 44pts in 1998-99, 65pts in 1999-00, 80pts in 2000-01, and 50pts in 2001-02.  Most of this production was due to playing with Jagr except in 2001.  I guess it came as no surprise to anyone that after the Pens dealt Jags to the Capitals, Lang signed as a free agent with Wasington for 2002-03.  The formula worked as he put up 69 points after being reunited with Jaromir.  The next year, he was leading the league in scoring by mid season and played in his first All-Star game.

But Washington was looking toward the future at that point and became the first team in history to trade a player while he lead the league in points.  Lang went to the Red Wings and Washington got Tomas Fleischmann and a draft pick that ended up being a little guy known as Mike Green.  Lang later went on to play for the Blackhawks behind the wonder twins, the Canadiens, and the Coyotes.  He was a solid player for each of those teams up till his final season in Phoenix in 2009-10, where he helped lead them to their first playoff appearance.   

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