Defenseman Rod Langway signed a new contract yesterday that will make him a member of the Washington Capitals for the rest of his playing career.
At the same time, the National Hockey League initiated a review of Coach Bryan Murray's gross misconduct penalty of Saturday, and goaltender Bob Mason was recalled from Binghamton because Al Jensen's sore knee, first injured in Minnesota Oct. 2, makes him unavailable for the western trip opening Wednesday in Edmonton.
Although terms of Langway's pact were not disclosed, General Manager David Poile said "the contract contains a lot of unique things. A series of options and revisions make it an ongoing thing. Rod will be a Capital for the duration of his playing career."
Asked to compare Langway's earnings with those of other top hockey stars like Wayne Gretzky, agent Art Kaminsky said, "Other than the players, their clubs and their agents, nobody knows contract terms in hockey. But I have a pretty good idea what some of those contracts are like.
"Rod is in the elite in the league. Gretzky was the MVP and Rod was No. 2. Throw Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier in there -- Rod's annual compensation will be in that elite."
In each case, much of the money consists of incentive bonuses, and it is estimated that should Langway repeat as the Norris Trophy winner, he would earn about $500,000 this season.
Langway still was receiving the base pay he got in Montreal -- plus 25 percent U.S. funds differential -- and he was in the fourth year of a seven-year contract signed in Montreal when the current agreement was worked out after about 2 1/2 months of negotiations.
When Langway was dealt here by the Canadiens in September 1982, the only changes made in his contract were in the area of incentive clauses. Several months ago, he asked Kaminsky to renegotiate the entire pact.
"I wanted to settle it now, because of my age and the timing -- the fact that I'm at my peak and in my best bargaining position," Langway said. "If I waited one more year, I might get hurt and go from the so-called No. 1 defenseman to No. 6 or No. 7. I'm not getting any younger and it's time to put my roots down.
"I enjoy it so much here, there's no point in making threats or asking to be traded. I just want the security.
"Two years ago I was putting pressure on the Montreal organization by talking about retiring," Langway said. "Now I have a lifetime contract. Just call me Gordie."
Besides the new contract, the Capitals have assisted Langway in establishing a "Captain's Corner" in section 218 at Capital Centre, where youngsters and others designated by charities will be provided free tickets by participating companies.
"I've been assured I'll still have a role here when my playing days are over," Langway said.
NHL President John Ziegler said a quick ruling in Murray's case was unlikely.
"I have not yet seen referee Ron Wicks' report," Ziegler said. "The timing is not that essential. I reserve the right to fit it in whenever I wish on my schedule, unless you're dealing with something that might turn into an epidemic.
"I will determine how it will be handled once I've seen the report. Sometimes I decide to do nothing, sometimes I talk to the individual, sometimes I convene a hearing and sometimes I do other things."
Brian O'Neill, NHL executive vice president who generally handles on-ice discipline, said he had talked with Wicks Sunday and received his report yesterday morning.
O'Neill contacted the Capitals and requested that they send the videotape of Saturday's game to Scotty Morrison, NHL vice president in charge of officiating. However, O'Neill indicated that Ziegler would assume jurisdiction because of the off-ice aspects of the incident.
Murray waited for Wicks at the visiting team's exit, then pursued him to the officials' room. When linesman Gord Broseker closed the door, according to Murray, Wicks made a comment, so Murray shoved it open, challenging the referee to repeat his words. When Wicks merely told Murray he should have left by the other exit, Murray left.
"The gross misconduct was basically issued for Coach Murray's conduct in the dressing room area," Wicks said last night. "If he had left after our discussion, there would have been no problem.
"I consider that (entering the room) abusive conduct. He had no business being there in the first place. Apparently, he thought I'd threatened him, but I just told him that in the future I'd appreciate his going off the ice on the other side."
Wicks confirmed that Murray had not touched him and insisted there was no feud between the two.
"There was no physical involvement at all," Wicks said. "In fact, we had a fairly logical chat until he pushed his way into the room. I have no personal animosity toward anybody and I certainly have no gag rule on coaches. They have a difficult job and I appreciate that.
"I've asked him to calm down a few times. You can say that about a lot of coaches. And I did talk to him at the start of the third period, when he made a big scene about the linesman (Ron Foyt) talking to the coach of the other team, who had asked a reasonable question.
"I told him, 'If you think the linesman should be quiet, I think the coach ought to be quiet, too.' Once in another city he suggested I could not talk to another coach, and I told him to concern himself with his own team. But I don't want to engage in any mud-slinging. I don't hold grudges and the day I do I'll get out of the business."
Murray said yesterday he obviously would accept any punishment, but felt none was warranted.
"I want an opportunity to talk to them," he said. "I don't see a fine or suspension resulting from that. Why should I be penalized for reacting to something I don't agree with? I wasn't the only one who thought something was wrong out there Saturday, unless I'm blind or whatever.
"It's not the individual calls I'm complaining about, just the attitude within the game. I want him to work hard and be on top of it. If a player asks a question, give him a civil answer. If he makes a comment to me, make it a civil comment."
Mason played four games in Binghamton, compiling a 2.96 goals-against average. He won the last three, all on the road. Jensen has played only once since his injury, beating Los Angeles, 5-3, on Oct. 16.