New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent left wing Martin Rucinsky.
"Martin is coming off an excellent 2005 World Championships where he helped win the gold medal for the Czech Republic," stated Sather. "He has been a solid performer for our hockey club in his two stints here and we feel he can step back into our lineup and make significant contributions on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice."
Rucinsky, 34, skated in 38 contests with HC Chemopetrol Litvinov of the Czech Republic Extraleague (Czech) last season, registering 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points, along with 87 penalty minutes. He ranked first on the team with 41 points and his 26 assists tied for the team lead. In addition to his efforts for Chemopetrol, Rucinsky also played a prominent role on the Czech Republic team at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2005 World Championships. At the World Cup of Hockey, he recorded one goal and one assist, along with 10 penalty minutes in four games. Rucinsky appeared in nine contests at the 2005 World Championships, registering two goals and four assists for six points, while helping lead the club to a gold medal.
The 6-2, 207-pounder has appeared in 817 career NHL contests with the St. Louis Blues; Edmonton Oilers; Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche; Montreal Canadiens; Dallas Stars and Rangers, registering 208 goals and 300 assists for 508 points, along with 677 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. As a Ranger, Rucinsky has appeared in 84 games, registering 18 goals and 39 assists for 57 points, along with 68 penalty minutes.
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 was traded from Montreal, along with Benoit Brunet, to Dallas in exchange for Donald Audette and Shaun Van Allen. After his short stint with New York, Rucinsky signed with St. Louis as a free agent on October 30, 2002. He rejoined the Rangers organization the following summer, signing as a free agent on August 28, 2003.