Langway Named Caps AmbassadorPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
If it seems like old home week around the Washington Capitals of late, it’s because it is. For a long time, the Caps had little in the way of alumni representation within the organization. Aside from longtime television color commentator Craig Laughlin, the Caps didn’t have many former players associated with the club. Recently the Caps have added former defenseman and Hockey Hall of Famer Rod Langway as Capitals ambassador. With former Caps Dale Hunter, Dean Evason, Olie Kolzig and Jim Johnson on the coaching staff and ex-Caps forward Alan May now providing analysis for Comcast SportsNet’s hockey coverage, there are now a lot more alumni associated with the team than ever before. “[Majority owner] Ted [Leonsis] has taken over,” notes Langway. “I had nothing to do with Ted when I was a player. He was a fan of mine. I think it’s gotten to a point now that the team needs some identity in the older group. I think if you look around the league [at teams like] Philly and Boston, they are hiring their old players, too, to represent the teams. “Players don’t stay in the city and the community that often during the summer. There is a certain value to the old players. They can stay in the community and support the team and fill those gaps where media and charitable entities ask for certain help to raise money. The old guys would love to do that stuff and stay involved with the game.” Langway’s duties in his new post will include suite visits, VIP receptions, meet and greets, hockey school appearances, street hockey events, autograph signings, potential sponsor meetings/pitches, in game ceremonies/presentations and more. “It’s a case where I’m coming back to promote the team all year long,” says Langway. “A lot of the guys take off during the summer. I’ll do a lot of charity work during the summer. And during the season, I’ll do a lot of promotions in the building. Really, whatever they want me to do I’ll do it for them. “I’ve been doing it for a lot of years, but now I’m getting paid for it. And I think it’s a case where I’m going to be moving back to the area and being involved with the community a lot more. I’m looking forward to it.” Langway helped put the Caps on the map and keep them in the District when he came to Washington in a one-sided swap nearly three decades ago. His playing career came to an end in Washington amid somewhat rancorous conditions. Although he was the team captain and he needed just six games to reach 1,000 for his NHL career, he was unhappy with his ice time he only played in 21 games in that final campaign. The Caps released him on July 28, 1993, ending a playing career in D.C. that lasted more than a decade. He never played in the NHL again, but spent a few more seasons playing briefly here and there at the minor league level. “I think it’s past due,” says Langway. “I think is the best way to put it. I had a chance to get back here earlier but I stayed in Richmond. Now it’s time to come back.” Langway was asked about his longtime teammate Hunter, and what he thought of Hunter’s performance as the Washington bench boss. “I think he is making some changes on the team and their attitude,” says Langway. “I’m not saying that [former coach] Bruce [Boudreau] didn’t do it. But I think Dale has a different way of working things out. I think he’s going to do a great job. They’re in a tough battle right now because of injuries. But I’m looking forward to them making the playoffs.” During his playing days in the District, Langway was known as Secretary of Defense. “I used to be a secretary, then it became an ambassador,” quips Langway.
After Monday’s loss to the Sharks at Verizon Center, the Caps had three days to lick their wounds, rest their bones and hone their game. They’re back in action on Friday in South Florida; that will be a key Southeast Division game to say the least. The Caps and Cats won’t see one another until