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Straka's agent denies veteran winger signed deal with Czech club

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Martin Straka has not signed a contract with HC Lasselsberger Plzen, his agent said Thursday, despite an announcement to the contrary from the Czech club.

"Marty has made it clear that he will wait until after July 1 to evaluate all his options and make an informed decision at that time," Ritch Winter, Straka's longtime agent, told The Canadian Press on Thursday.

Straka, an unrestricted free agent on July 1, played the last three years with the New York Rangers. HC Lasselsberger Plzen announced on its website that the 35-year-old forward would be a player and sports director with the team.

"We struck a deal with Martin last night," club president Tomas Kral said.

Not true, said Winter.

"Plzen has made an aggressive offer but it's just one of the offers he will be considering," said Winter, who added there was also interest from teams in Russia and Sweden.

Straka will also garner interest next Tuesday when the NHL's free-agent market opens for business.

He has 257 goals and 460 assists in 954 NHL regular-season games, and another 26 goals and 44 assists in the playoffs.

He joined the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992, and also played for the Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings before joining the Rangers in 2005.

In 65 games last season, Straka scored 14 goals and had 27 assists. In 10 playoff games, he recorded three goals and seven assists.

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


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