Tired of waiting for Mats Sundin to end his own soap opera, Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey took matter into his own hands by acquiring veteran centre Robert Lang from the Chicago Blackhawks in return for a 2nd Round Draft Pick in 2010 (obtained from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Mikhail Grabovski).
Lang notched his 8th consecutive 50+ point season last year with the Chicago Blackhawks scoring 21 goals and adding 33 assists. Lang's career season came in 2000-01 when he recorded 80 points (32 goals, 48 assists) in 82 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The addition of Lang's firepower will finally help the Canadiens down the middle. Lang's size adds something the Canadiens desperately need and were looking for in possibly acquiring Mats Sundin this off-season.
Rumoured to be a possible replacement for Sundin if they couldn't acquire the big Swede, Lang finds himself playing for his fourth original six team during his career. The Los Angeles Kings 7th Round Pick in 1990, Lang has had an up-and-down career.
Now, in Montreal, he hopes to become a role player with an offensive upside. And for Gainey, hopefully not the second coming of Radek Bonk or Mariusz Czerkawski.
In addition to acquiring Lang, Gainey also re-signed veteran defensemen Patrice Brisebois to another season.
Brisebois, 37, was the Canadiens 30th overall pick in 1989 and notched 3 goals and 8 assists last season in 43 games.
Along with his first 14 seasons in Montreal, Brisebois spent two seasons in Colorado before returning to the Canadiens during the last off-season.
Both acquisitions are good for the Canadiens leadership and veteran depth to help out the younger players in the lineup. For Lang, he, along with Koivu and Kovalev, give the forwards more leadership to help the younger players such as the Kostitsyns, Plekanec, and Latendresse up front.
Brisebois, formerly an alternate captain for the Canadiens before moving to Colorado, has taken a more passive role as a leader on the Canadiens blueline. Yet his exprience and presence is felt and known in the Habs dressing room.