Coach Darren Langdon

Updated: September 23, 2014
Darren Langdon | Newfoundland Hockey Talk

Within the ranks of Newfoundland Senior Hockey there are very few players as polarizing as Darren Langdon.  He has often been criticized and ridiculed for taking cheap shots at players on the ice or taking a bad penalty at the last opportune time.  Love him or hate him, Darren Langdon is now the new head coach of the Corner Brook Royals.

At 43, Darren Langdon has made the decision to hang up his skates and step behind the bench as the Royals return to their home city after a brief love affair with Deer Lake as the Western Royals.  The question that many fans are asking is which one of Langdon’s personalities will be present as he steps in to replace former coach Steve North.

Coaching is not new to Langdon.  He filled the role of player/coach in 2005, leading the Deer Lake Red Wings to the pinnacle of Newfoundland Senior Hockey, the Herder Memorial Championship.  During the Wings run to the championship, Langdon’s influence on the Red Wing players could be seen on the ice.  The team played hard, they were feared along the boards and in the corners and they pounded the body that eventual wore their opponents down.  You could witness Langdon chastising players on the ice and on the bench for their mistakes but the very next shift he would make the exact mistakes without repercussion.

There are many long-time Royals fans that see Langdon’s appointment as head coach as a mistake, thinking the team should have parted ways with a lot of the ‘older’ guys and build the organization around young talent, including a new young coach.  Others are a little more optimistic.  As one fan when asked about Langdon assuming the role of Royals Coach said, “You can’t play all those years in the NHL without picking up a trick or two but with Darren, you never know which personality is going to show up at the game.  He can be a gentleman or he can be an ass.  We need someone who can get these players to perform on the ice like they can on paper.  Then we’ll have a winner.”

No truer words were spoken.

Corner Brook has a history of supporting winning hockey clubs and in the seasons prior to the Royals move to Deer Lake, the team struggled in the city and showed only a portion of the potential they had on paper.  Attendance suffered and because of it the team suffered financially prompting the move 50 KMs up the TCH.

Coach Langdon takes over the reins and has an opportunity to show the fans in Corner Brook that the Royals can compete.  His job will be to harness the young talent team management has signed and mould them into a competitor.  The ugly side of Darren Langdon cannot rear its head behind the bench.  He has to not only motivate but inspire the players to play with the guts and glory needed to succeed in Newfoundland Senior Hockey.  He has to show leadership and give the players the opportunity to play the game and have fun.

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