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Former Washington Capitals star Rod Langway remains estranged from his daughter

"I think that's one of the reasons I'm so dedicated to soccer, because it always gives me something to rely on."

'My daughter by genes'

Brute strength and athleticism were the backbone of Rod Langway's career. Today, he lives in Richmond with his wife and their two children and works as a heat treater for a family-owned manufacturing business that deals mainly with heavy machinery.

Langway, 52, made $275,000 a year his last two seasons with the Capitals, in 1992 and 1993, and just more than $400,000 per season during his prime -- more than any other Capitals player of his generation but a paltry sum compared to the seven-figure contracts that go to NHL stars today. Once he retired, he was paid an additional $75,000 for each of the 11 years he played for the team.

"I'm big and strong and I can do labor work and my reading skills are below average," he joked when discussing his post-hockey life. "But I'm happy."

As Scarlett Sasscer tells the story, she met Langway serendipitously on a shuttle bus to the airport in 1987. Sasscer was headed to Syracuse, N.Y., Langway to a hockey game. When the two ended up on the same shuttle bus again following their return flights, they exchanged phone numbers.

The two would commence an eight-year relationship that included a brief engagement once Langway finalized his divorce from his first wife in the fall of 1990.

Hannah was born Jan. 2, 1993, in the middle of Langway's final NHL season. When the season ended, he moved to Hilton Head, S.C., maintaining a residence in Annapolis to make occasional visits to see Hannah even though the relationship with Scarlett had begun to sour, according to both sides.

In the spring of 1995, Langway became a player-coach for the Richmond Renegades, a minor league team. The following season, he played with the San Francisco Spiders of the International Hockey League. When he returned to the area in May 1996, the relationship between Langway and Sasscer had deteriorated to the point that neither could be in the same room together. Having already gone through a divorce about five years earlier -- a marriage that included three children -- Langway decided he couldn't be a part of raising Hannah with her mother present.

So he left, promising Scarlett he would not have contact with his daughter until she turned 18.

"I wasn't happy with her mother, and that was the reason I went my separate way," said Langway, who declined to go into specifics, saying he feared they would upset Hannah. "She's my daughter by genes, but I don't think she wants to know why I'm not involved. . . . She will know when it's right for me and her. We will, at one time, air out our reasoning."

"There was a lot of really weird, bizarre stuff going on during our last year together," Scarlett Sasscer said. "It was like living through a Stephen King novel, and you can't have a kid there."

Langway pays $400 a month in child support, Scarlett Sasscer said, and Hannah has access to his health insurance, provided by the NHL Players Association.

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