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Martin Rucinsky leaves NHL to play for Czech club Sparta Prague

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Martin Rucinsky has decided to leave the NHL and return home to play for Sparta Prague.

The Czech club said in a statement on its website Wednesday that the 37-year-old left winger signed a deal for next season but gave no further details.

Rucinsky, who played the last two seasons for the St. Louis Blues, joined the NHL in 1991 after he was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers. He moved after one season to the Quebec Nordiques and stayed with the franchise until after it became the Colorado Avalanche. He then joined the Montreal Canadiens for six seasons and also played for the Dallas Stars, the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks.

The forward scored 241 goals and had 371 assists in 961 NHL regular-season games, and added another nine goals and five assists in the playoffs.

He scored five goals and had 11 assists in an injury-plagued last season. In best season was in 1995-96, when he had a total of 60 points for the Canadiens.

Rucinsky played for another Czech club, Litvinov, before moving to the NHL, and also during the 2004-05 lockout season. He was on the Czech team that won the gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

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