Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rangers re-sign Straka

They might not have gotten anything done last night in East Rutherford. But off the ice was another matter altogether. Today, Rangers Team President and GM Glen Sather announced that the club had re-signed forward Martin Straka to a one-year deal worth a reported $3.3 million.

The diminutive 34 year-old Czech is enjoying one of his best seasons. He currently is tied for the team lead with Brendan Shanahan for goals (24) and ranks second to only buddy Jaromir Jagr in points with 55. Maybe the Blueshirts most consistent performer night after night, the versatile Straka has teamed up with Jagr and top pivot Michael Nylander to form one of the league's best scoring lines.

The best skater out of the trio, the former Pen works extremely hard on both sides of the ice. While his offense stands out, it's the diligent backchecking which makes him one of the Rangers' most valuable forwards. That's why this signing was a no-brainer. Bringing him back makes sense and it seems that they got him at a bargain. There's little doubt that if he hit the open market this summer, he could've gotten more. So not only was this a smart move by Sather but it also shows that Straka took less and is a team player.

If the club is to re-sign Nylander to keep the unit intact, they'll need a similar commitment from the Swedish playmaker. This way they can focus on improving the rest of their club. It remains to be seen what will happen there. But this is a very good move. Now if only they could find a real No.2 center and a solid defenseman to add to the mix.

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