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Rick Roman Lanz (born September 16, 1961 in Karlovy Varymarker (Carlsbad), Czechoslovakiamarker) is a former professional ice hockey defenceman who spent 10 seasons in the National Hockey League and is best known for his time with the Vancouver Canucks. He was born in Czechoslovakia, but his family defected to Canada following the invasion by the Soviet Union in 1968.

Playing career

Lanz was selected 8th overall in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks following an excellent junior career with the Oshawa Generals in which he was named the club's top defender in three consecutive seasons. He also received the opportunity to represent Canada at the 1980 World Junior Championships.

He immediately broke into the Canucks roster in 1980–81 at the age of just 19 and had a fine rookie year, posting 29 points in 76 games. Unfortunately, the 1981–82 season would prove to be a setback, as he tore knee ligaments 39 games in, forcing him to miss the rest of the regular season and the entire playoffs. The situation would prove doubly disappointing as he was forced to miss the Canucks' surprising march to the Stanley Cup Finals that spring.

In 1982–83 Lanz returned to the ice and hit his stride as an NHL player, recording 10 goals and 48 points, good for 6th on the club. He was also selected to represent Canada at the 1983 World Championships, where he helped the team win a bronze medal. He would follow this up with his finest NHL season in 1983–84, as he posted 18 goals and 57 points (both narrowly missing club records for defenders) and was named the team's top defenceman. He was especially effective on the powerplay, and his 14 powerplay goals tied for the league lead amongst defenders with Edmonton Oilers superstar Paul Coffey.

Lanz would suffer through a disaster 1984–85 season, as he was hobbled by a neck injury and limited to just 19 points. He would return to form the following year, though, posting 53 points to again lead Canuck defenders. However, frustrated with his inconsistent play, Vancouver dealt him to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jim Benning and Dan Hodgson midway through the 1986–87 season. He finished the year with 28 points in 61 games, and matched that total in 1987–88. He was still a useful contributor for the Leafs, but was no longer the dangerous offensive player he had been in Vancouver. After a terrible 1988–89 season in which he was limited by injuries and benchings to just 32 games and 10 points, he was released by Toronto.

His departure from Toronto would essentially mark the end of his NHL career. Unable to find any interest in the NHL, he spent the 1989–90 season in Switzerlandmarker. He was signed to a contract by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1990, but would only play a single game for them during the 1991–92 season. Following brief stops in the minor-league systems of the Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning, he retired in 1993.

Lanz finished his career with totals of 65 goals and 221 assists for 286 points in 569 career games, along with 448 penalty minutes.

Coaching career

Following his retirement, Lanz returned to British Columbiamarker to accept a job in the BCHL as an assistant coach for the Penticton Panthers. He was named head coach of the Langley Thunder in 1995. He would later be united with his brother in-law Mark Holick in South Surrey and found immediate success. He took a team with super-star Scott Gomez to the Royal Bank Cup in Summerside PEI but would lose in the final to a heartbreaking game. The next season Rick would move to the WHL in 1997–98 as an assistant coach for the Tri-City Americans, although he was promoted to the head coaching position only a few games into the season. He would return to Langley the following year, and remain their head coach until 2003.

Lanz was hired as head coach of the Burnaby Express in 2004, and led the team to the Royal Bank Cup in 2006, where they were crowned Canadian Junior A Champions. He left Burnaby to sign on as head coach of the Victoria Grizzlies and after two months as head coach of the Victoria Grizzlies he was offered the head scouting job for western Canada and US for the Colorado Avalanche.

Some notable players that Rick has coached are Scott Gomez, Ivan Huml, Keith Seabrook, Raymond Sawada, Mark & Mike Santorelli, Kyle Turris, Ben Walter, and Justin Courtnall.

Career statistics

                                           --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----

Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1977-78  Oshawa Generals             OHA    65    1   41   42   51  --  --  --  --  --1978-79  Oshawa Generals             OHA    66   11   48   59   88  --  --  --  --  --1979-80  Oshawa Generals             OHA    52   18   38   56   51  --  --  --  --  --1980-81  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    76    7   22   29   40   3   0   0   0   41981-82  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    39    3   11   14   48  --  --  --  --  --1982-83  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    74   10   38   48   46   4   2   1   3   01983-84  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    79   18   39   57   45   4   0   4   4   21984-85  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    57    2   17   19   69  --  --  --  --  --1985-86  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    75   15   38   53   73   3   0   0   0   01986-87  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    17    1    6    7   10  --  --  --  --  --1986-87  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    44    2   19   21   32  13   1   3   4  271987-88  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    75    6   22   28   65   1   0   0   0   21988-89  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    32    1    9   10   18  --  --  --  --  --1989-90  Ambri-Piotta                Swiss   ? 3   14   17    0  --  --  --  --  --1990-91  Indianapolis Ice            IHL     8    0    5    5   18  --  --  --  --  --1991-92  Chicago Blackhawks          NHL     1    0    0    0    2  --  --  --  --  --1991-92  Phoenix Roadrunners         IHL    38    7   14   21   21  --  --  --  --  --1991-92  Canadian National Team      Intl    4    0    1    1    2  --  --  --  --  --1992-93  Atlanta Knights             IHL    25    6   12   18   30  --  --  --  --  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        NHL Totals                        569   65  221  286  448  28   3   8  11  35



Coaching statistics

Season  Team                Lge  Type       GP  W  L T OTL   Pct1996-97 South Surrey Eagles BCHL Head Coach 60 47  7 6   0 0.8331997-98 Tri-City Americans  WHL  Head Coach 72 17 49 6   0 0.2781998-99 Langley Hornets     BCHL Head Coach 60 20 38 0   2 0.3501999-00 Langley Hornets     BCHL Head Coach 60 41 17 0   2 0.7002000-01 Langley Hornets     BCHL Head Coach 60 29 25 0   6 0.5332003-04 Langley Hornets     BCHL Head Coach 60 19 36 1   4 0.3582005-06 Burnaby Express     BCHL Head Coach 60 34 20 1   5 0.617


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