It has been rumored that winger Martin Straka has signed on with HC Lasselsberger Plzen in his home nation of the Czech Republic to be a player and the team's sports director. Straka, who will become an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) in July, is thought to be a highly sought after veteran and is this year's #1 FI UFA according to this fair website. Straka's agent Ritch Winter (good name? bad name? not sure) refuted the claim made by Plzen club president Tomas Kral on the Czech squad's website. Winter has made it clear that Straka wants to weigh all his offers and options following the open season for free agency starting July 1. We will see how this pans out and if Straka really did make a commitment to this foreign corps. We at FIW find it hard to believe that the perfectly able, albeit soon it be 36 year old, would leave the NHL at this point in his career.
Straka has played in 954 NHL games registering 717 points on 257 goals and 460 assists. He has suited up for Pittsburgh, Ottawa, the Isles, Florida, Los Angeles and the Rangers over his 16 professional seasons. Straka was originally selected in the 1st Round, 19th overall in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft.