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SI FOR KIDS
Langer's will be hopping
Enforcer gives homefolk a place to watch Rangers
Posted: Friday October 01, 1999 05:00 PM
By David Vecsey, CNN/SI
His teammates call him "Newfie" and twice have awarded him the Player's Award. North of the border, in the towns of Deer Lake and Cormack, Newfoundland, he is just as beloved.
It seems the only people who don't have an appreciation for Darren Langdon are the guys on the receiving end of his roundhouses.
Deer Lake was settled in 1864 and named so because of the herds that would migrate across it in the winter. By the 1920s, the town had a dam, a canal and a railroad terminal, putting the logging industry in full swing.
What kind of place is Deer Lake?
Darren Langdon: It's a small place about 5,000 people. Everybody knows each other.
What do people do there to make a living mostly?
Darren Langdon: There's a big paper mill there, a lot of people are involved in the paper mill. There's logging, most of the towns have some kind of fishing, but we're inland a little bit so there's not that much fishing.
There's the Kruger paper mill. My dad works there, he's been there 30 years.
You still have a lot of family there?
Darren Langdon: Oh, yeah. My dad's side has 11 brothers and sisters, same on my mother's side.
How often do you get back? And how do people react to you? What's it like to have an NHLer from their town?
Darren Langdon: I go back in the offseason and live there all summer. Like I said, everybody knows each other, so it's no big deal anymore. Everybody kind of goes about their own business.
There are not that many people from Newfoundland who have made it to the NHL, so I guess when I was growing up ... it wasn't that there was no hope for Newfoundlanders, or that you'd never make it, but there wasn't much to draw on. Now they know if you work hard and do the right things, it can happen. It's so small that obviously you don't have the same opportunities as kids in other parts of Canada, but, you know, you make your own opportunities.
What's the local hot spot like?
Darren Langdon: I've got a little bar called Langer's, me and a couple buddies own. We just own it, hang out there, drink a couple Cokes. We just opened it at the end of last year and it was open all summer.
I guess you've got a dish and will pack 'em in on Ranger game nights?
Darren Langdon: Oh, yeah. People watch the games there. It was open at the end of last season. My buddies have it under control, I have no say in things usually.
Any other NHLers from that area?
Darren Langdon: John Slaney who played with Phoenix, and I think Nashville, is from around there somewhere. There are a couple of prospects. Alex Faulkner is the big one (from Grand Falls about 200 km away). He was with Detroit in the 1950s and won a couple of Cups. He was one of the mainstays on that team.
What are the youth hockey programs like there?
Darren Langdon: We only really have enough for one team at each level, so it's not like there's that much competition for spots. It's more of as a kid growing up, there's this one pond where everybody plays. There's just enough to play, so you're happy to get a game. There are one or two teams at each level.
There's only one rink, but one rink is plenty for our little town. In the summers, me and my brothers have a hockey school, so we get a lot of kids out and have a pick-up game.
As a high-schooler, what did you guys do on Saturday nights in Deer Lake?
Darren Langdon: What do we do on Saturday nights? What do you think we do? What are you talking, 16, 17? What do you think we do? Same as anywhere else ... we go to the movies.
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