New York Rangers President, General Manager and Head Coach Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent left wing Martin Rucinsky. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Martin is a multi-talented athlete who can complement a number of the center icemen on our hockey club," stated Sather. "He is an experienced player who can step right into our lineup and make significant contributions on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice."
Rucinsky, 32, skated in 61 contests with the St. Louis Blues last season, registering 16 goals and 14 assists for 30 points, along with 38 penalty minutes. He ranked first on the team and fourth in the NHL with four shorthanded goals. Rucinsky posted a four-game point scoring streak from January 18 through 23, registering six points (two goals, four assists) over the span. He appeared in his 700th career NHL match on December 23 vs. Los Angeles. In seven post-season matches, Rucinsky registered four goals and two assists for six points, along with four penalty minutes. He ranked second on the team with four playoff goals and tied for second with six points in the post-season.
The 6-1, 205-pounder has appeared in 735 career NHL contests with the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars and Rangers, registering 194 goals and 269 assists for 463 points, along with 605 penalty minutes. Rucinsky was acquired by New York from Dallas on March 12, 2002, along with Roman Lyashenko, in exchange for Manny Malhotra and Barrett Heisten. Following the trade, he registered three goals and 10 assists for 13 points, along with six penalty minutes in 15 matches with the Rangers. Rucinsky posted a six-game point scoring streak from March 30 to April 10, registering three goals and seven assists for 10 points over the span. He also tallied one game-winning goal, four multiple-point games and a plus-six rating.
Rucinsky represented the Montreal Canadiens at the 1999-2000 NHL All-Star Game, posting 25 goals and 24 assists for 49 points in 80 games that season. On the international scene, he was a member of the Czech Republic team at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, capturing a gold medal in Nagano.
The Most, Czech Republic native was originally selected by the Edmonton Oilers as the team's second choice, 20th overall, in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Nordiques from Edmonton on March 10, 1992 in exchange for Ron Tugnutt and Brad Zavisha. On June 21, 1995, Rucinsky was acquired by the Canadiens, along with Jocelyn Thibault and Andrei Kovalenko, from Colorado in exchange for Patrick Roy and Mike Keane. He signed with St. Louis as a free agent on October 30, 2002.