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Rangers re-sign forward Martin Straka

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has re-signed free agent forward Martin Straka.

Straka, 33, appeared in 82 games with the Rangers this season, collecting 22 goals and 54 assists for 76 points, along with 42 penalty minutes. His 54 assists (T-20th in the NHL) and 76 points (T-35th in the NHL) ranked third on the club, while his 29 power play assists led the team and tied for 19th in the league. He also tied for second on the team with four game-winning goals. In eight games at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, Straka led the Czech Republic in scoring with eight points (two goals and six assists) and helped his country capture a bronze medal.

A veteran of 13 NHL seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings and Rangers, Straka has skated in 812 career NHL games, registering 214 goals and 392 assists for 606 points, along with 314 penalty minutes.

In 2004-05, he appeared in 45 games with HC Lassenberger Plzen in the Czech Extraleague, registering 16 goals and 18 assists for 34 points, along with 76 penalty minutes. He led the club with 16 tallies and ranked second with 18 assists and 34 points.

As a member of the Penguins, he recorded 165 goals and 277 assists for 442 points, along with 215 penalty minutes in 560 contests. His best professional season came in 2000-01 with the Penguins, when he charted career highs in games played (82), assists (68) and points (95). In 1998-99, Straka tallied a career-high 35 goals and represented the Penguins at the 1999 NHL All-Star Game.

The 5-9, 178-pounder has also appeared in 86 career playoff contests with the Penguins, Panthers and Rangers, registering 21 goals and 29 assists for 50 points, along with 34 penalty minutes. In addition, Straka was a key member of Pittsburgh's team that went to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2001, appearing in 18 post-season contests and registering five goals and eight assists for 13 points. During the 1996 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he skated in 13 of Florida's 22 playoff games en route to the Stanley Cup Finals, tallying two goals in the Eastern Conference Finals versus Pittsburgh.

Internationally, Straka has represented the Czech Republic in several tournaments over his career. Aside from his stint in Torino in 2006, he also appeared in six games during the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, registering one goal and two assists, en route to capturing the gold medal. At the 2005 World Championships in Austria, Straka registered three goals and one assist in nine contests, helping lead the team to a gold medal finish. In addition, he has also participated in both the 1996 and 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and skated in the World Junior Championships in 1991 (bronze medal) and two additional World Hockey Championships (2003, 2004).
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