Love Him or Hate Him

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Updated: January 13, 2014
Darren Langdon | Newfoundland Hockey Talk

At 43 years old, Darren Langdon is still playing a role in Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey as a member of the Western Royals. If you had asked anybody just a few short years ago if you would see Darren Langdon in a Royals Jersey, they would have laughed at you. However, after the Deer Lake Red Wings folded from the new defunct West Coast Senior Hockey League, Langdon laced them up for the Corner Brook Royals and when that team moved to Deer Lake and became the Western Royals, Langdon was only more than pleased to play in front of his hometown fans again.

While taking in a recent Royals game it was interesting listening to fans from the opposing teams yelling at Langdon everytime he touched the puck. Others cheered when he made a pass and urged him on as he skated up the ice. It was obvious that Langdon had a polarizing effect on the fans.

Yes, Darren Langdon is the player that you either love or you hate in the Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey League. His reputation from the 521 NHL games he played is one of being the enforcer, someone who was paid to drop the gloves and make a statement with his fists, not his stick.

His intensity, experience and determination is something that any team would love to have in a leader. That is one of the roles that he brings to the Western Royals and while he may be famous for his fighting ability, Darren Langdon can still play hockey. You don’t play 521 NHL games with some of the best players in the world and get coached by some of the best coaches in the world without picking up some skill.

Sitting with 13 points in the current 2013-2014 season, Langdon has continued to contribute to his team in the NLSHL. He has consistently contributed on the score sheet and still has the ability to intimidate the opposing players with his physical game.

With the league clamping down on fighting, the threat of Landgon dropping the gloves has diminished. It doesn’t change the fact that he is a fierce competitor, an opposing force in front of the net and a can lay a bone-crushing body check at anytime. When Darren Langdon is in the Royals line-up he makes the team better regardless if you love him or hate him.

Darren Langdon has been good for Newfoundland Senior Hockey. He has helped raise the profile of the game and being a fierce competitor with a tenacity to get under opposing player’s skin, he has forced other teams to take him seriously as a scorer and as a player. He may not have the softest hands in the game or be the best skater but he has a way of drawing attention and getting the puck to his teammates so they can score.

The current season may be the last for Langdon in the Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey League. He has slowed a bit and you can tell just by watching him on the ice he is frustrated at times not because his team is doing poorly but because he is slowing just a little.

It will be a sad day for Deer Lake and for the Western Royals when Darren Langdon hangs up his skates for good. Sure, he’ll probably coach or sit in the stands and watch the games. He may even take a bit of ribbing and razzing from the fans that are at the arena.

Love him or hate him, Darren Langdon will be missed from the league.

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