Straka up in the air about next season


One of the many decisions the Rangers will have to make this summer is what to do with Martin Straka. And it sounds like there won’t be any decision before then since Straka said there haven’t been any discussions between himself and the Rangers about 2008-09.

That’s not surprising for a couple of reasons. One is that a lot may hinge on whether Straka’s friend and countryman, Jaromir Jagr, comes back as well. And the other is that Straka readily admits he’s been playing well below his own standards this season.

“My thing right now is to try to play better than I have and get my confidence back and make the playoffs,” Straka told me. “And then whatever’s going to happen is going to happen after the season. If I’m done after this season, I’m done. If I come back, I come back. Either way, it’s not going to kill me.”

It’s not as if Straka has been horrible, but just a little off. He has 27 points in 43 games, and even has three assists in his last two games. Should he regain his touch by season’s end, the Rangers could see him as a more effective option than anything they have in Hartford — or what they might overpay for on the open market.

Of course, Straka is also going to be 36, and it’s quite possible what we’ve seen over the past few months is just age beginning to reveal itself.

But Straka said he’s not thinking about any of that, and he said his contract situation has had no impact on how he’s played. Of course, how he’s played might end up having a lot to do with whether the Rangers want to give him a contract.

Either way, he said he’s not going to know what he wants to do until the season’s over.

“It depends on how you feel about your game at the end of the year,” he said. “You go up and down. Now I’m not playing as well as I want, but when you make the playoffs and you play well, you think maybe I can play one more year. It’s tough to say. I always make the decision at the end of the year. Last year I made the decision earlier because I was playing well and they asked me.”

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  1. I could take him or leave him. It would be nice to have him as the vet if Shanny and Jagr depart, but I keep feeling more like Jagr will still be here, so he will probably be here, as well. I can’t see Straka coming back if Jagr goes.

    Boy, the Flyers are in bad shape. Nine straight losses, only one in overtime. They’re gonna be in tenth with the Islanders and Sabres winning. I can’t say it’s all because they lost Gagne because the losing started while he was still in, I think, and they have won without him before. It’s gonna take more to help them than Vandermeer for Modry. And if Forsberg comes back with them, it will probably get worse.

  2. BRIEF TANGENT!! Did anyone watch the Devils game last night? The GMs meet last week and Emerick said they were going to go report some new goalie equipment rules and regs that will increase scoring next year. Did anyone read about it or hear the new rules??

  3. Bring back Lohan on

    I have nothing important to say, other than I think its extremely funny that salty’s name is now salty (not a goaly). Thats just classic…..

  4. Florida gave away 2 points.. Nice clear by Bouwmeester with 5 minutes left.. Boston stole 2 more points… Unbeleivable…

  5. season ticket holder in section 330 and my question to all is does anyone watch these center ice games holding there breathe. i mean i cant sleep at night after watching all the teams around us come back while we give games away. we are in trouble

  6. Doodie Machetto on

    Sam, good story, but weird timing for a Straka story with the trade deadline less than a week away, no?

  7. I just looked at the rosters, the rangers have one of the younger teams.. they have 7 guys 30 or older; malik, vally, jagr, straka, shanny, drury, and strudwick.

    there is decent chance only 1 of them will be on the team next yr. They are building a good young club.. They get Liles for an example he is only 27, Boyle will be 32 yrs old in Sept(I think) trade 3 or 4 guys for a undersized almost 32 yr old D man(a good one but really)…

    Marian Hossa will be 30 before next season… Yes shanny, straka, and Jagr are 3 of the rangers top 6 scorers at this time but they are all on the downside of there career and I doubt anyone would argue that. Say they lose malik, mara, shanny(he is 39) and the 2 Czech players then they have money to sign 1 stud forward and then use some of there home grown talent… Are Cherapanov and others ready, I have no clue but he is 19 and looked damn good in the junior championship to me… My point is they are moving in the right direction and I believe given more minures; gomez, drury, dawes, prucha, callly, and dubi, can all score 20 or more goals each next yr. Given top 3 line minutes call me a fool I think they can do that…Add 1 stud signee in the offseason a 30+ guy and they have a legit team. I also say scrap this 7 goal in total 4th line, yes you need some addtl. size and toughness but you need guys who can get you 10 or 12 goals in a yr. not 1 or 2. Hollwegg is 24 so maybe he can improve…

    the bottom line is the rangers should not sell young guys for OLD guys and they are moving in the right direction.

    next yr. malik, mara, and strudwick will not be on the blueline, they have 3 legit somewhat proven youn d men nd if Roszival has reasonable demands maybe sign him also.

    If the above players do not return tha rangers also have enough money under the cap to sign a big time D man. They also supposively have numerous D candidates in the minors sucha as baranka, sauer, sanguinetti, and Liffiton.

    The rangers are moving in the RIGHT DIRECTION ALL my point is why trade the farm…If you tell me they can get a 27 yr old good player under a reasonable contract then that is another story but getting over 30 crazy contract players or renta player is insane. Detroit, anaheim, they can renta player they are LEGIT LEGIT contenders the Rangers are a team that I beleive can go a few rounds in the playoffs but there probability of winning the cup is muh much lower……

  8. If there is no Shanahan, Jagr, or Straka, we are three veteran forwards short of a good team. There is no way that any team in this league replaces three veteran forwards leaving in one year. They call that rebuilding. However, since we need those three for this years playoff run, we either resign them all at a home town discount, or, they quit/sign elsewhere and your Rangers won’t make the playoffs.

  9. ZGyou are wrong.. those 3 account for a total of about 46 goals so far this yr. I forgot also to include Avery if he plays on a top 3 lines he can score about 20 goals… Jagr who I like has 15 GOALS for the year!!!!!!!!!!!!That is stagggering he is the go to guy on the 1st line and the key PP guy, he has 3 or 4 PP goals for the year..

    IF all 3 of those guys come back next year that will be adisaster, maybe 1 is OK but all 3 would be terrible for the rangers.. You are wrong a team with good balance can win with out a great scorer especially a team that is top 5 in goals against….

  10. Cliff, you are a crappy fan and would be awful at running a team. Does Glen Sather go to Pizza Hut and tell you how to do your job? Besides, Hollweg is signed for I think 2 more years because he resigned this year.

    Anyway, I love Straka, but I think his course has been run, regardless or not of Jagr, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he becomes a deadline deal in a trade like Mara-for-Ward from last year. No picks, no prospects, just player for player and it helps both teams.

  11. Straka’s one of my favorite Rangers, but if he were to come back, I can’t see him as anything more than a 2nd or 3rd line player. No way he would still be on the top line. If the price is right and he still wants to play I wouldn’t see why not.

  12. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    120 goals from your top 6 forwards is nothing to be excited about. However, forwards closer to 40 have trouble bringing it every night over an 82 game season, so I’m pretty content letting our 3 go.

  13. Dr Ogrdonick they have about 105 or less goals this yr. from there top 2 lines…….

    I checked out all the schedules of the rangers, fishies, philly, boston, buff. etc, they all play basically there in division rivals so it is anyones guess who will make the playoffs anyone who goes on a 8 in 10 streak will make it else it is going right down to the end. the rangers have 4 against the fishies out of twenty ,and 3 I think against the Pens and 3 against the devils and flyers……over 1/2 there games are in conference…

    this will not be decided for a few weeks at best.. all those blown points; mtl. the other night, the home tampa and king and coyote losses all seem rueal big right now. the 75 points that the leaders have now wold really look good for the rangers right now…

  14. HBO are all signed for 2008/9 for a grand total of $1.66m – i think if they can improve on the defensive role they’ve been given this year i see no reason to change that line. Of course if they chipped in with a few more goals it would be a bonus.

    I can’t see every one of our UFA’s going at the end of the year, i’m sure Straka (for less $$), Avery and maybe Shanny will be back, Jagr will depend of how much of a paycut he is willing to accept. Of the defensemen Roszy is the only one who i think will stay, if he will take $3m per for 2/3 years i would do it. I would be tempted to use a combination of draft picks, Dawes, Mara, Malik and Hossa to try and get another top 6 forward or top 2 D-man before the deadline.

  15. onecupin67years on

    The Devils lose,Holik,guerin,Gomez and still win,while the rangers act like clingy 2 year olds holding on the players past their prime and value,just like they did with leetch,messier and richter.

  16. Goalie trade coming??????? Chris Holt was assigned to Hartford from Charlotte. By my count that makes 3 goalies (Wiki, Montoya, now Holt) I haven’t seen that anyone got hurt so that makes me think a trade is coming???? Anyone know any more about why they assigned Holt to Hartford?

  17. PJ, that is pretty interesting. Wiikman is playing really well in Hartford so there’s no chance he would be sent down to Charlotte. Tampa Bay needs a good young goaltender. Montoya and Prucha or Dawes for Boyle? I really feel one way or the other Boyle will be a Ranger by the deadline.

  18. Montoya pulled his goin thats why Holt is up. Wiikman had to replace Monty the other night afterhe went down. I’d like to get my hopes up too but…

  19. rucchin20 – pizza hut. Now THAT’S some funny stuff right there.

    Can anyone else see Montoya not being dealt? If you were a GM would you want him? There are tons of ‘project’ goalies out there. This one is injury prone on top of it. He’s missed time due to several different injuries. At least one thing for sure, he’s not a bargining chip anymore. We missed our chance.

    On Straka, I love the guy. There’s not doubt he’s underperforming though. He recognizes it and would realize to stay he’d have to take a pay cut. And I think he would. He’s a team player that can play in all situations. For the right price, I think you have to try to bring him back. $2.5mil or so?

  20. haha I just laugh at people saying that we are getting Boyle. A) he’s not the player we need and B) there is no way in hell we are getting him from Tampa. He’ll probably re-sign and even if they trade him, who are we gonna give up? Monty and Prucha? Maybe Dawes or Sanguinetti? They don’t want Monty since they already have Ramo and some other guys in the minors. Plus Prucha, Dawes, and Sanguinetti aren’t locks as being solid NHL players. If I were the Rangers I’d like to keep Dawes around just based on his potential. And btw, I think I’m the only guy here that thinks keeping Hossa for a cheap price would actually be a pretty good idea. He gets a bad rep, but he also has a decent amount of upside if he moves up to playing on the 2nd or 3rd line instead of playing a checking role.

  21. onecupin67years on

    I would keep Dawes,try to move Prucha ,he’s too fragile has good upside which makes him good trade bait.Montoya another wasted #1 pick.

  22. Doodie Machetto on

    “And btw, I think I’m the only guy here that thinks keeping Hossa for a cheap price would actually be a pretty good idea.”

    Yup, you are.

  23. Jonny D, what team have you been watching? You think Hossa has been stuck playing 4th line minutes all season and that’s why he’s not producing. Hossa has been playing on the top line with Jagr all season. He may have played one or two games on the 4th line but that’s it.
    There really is no upside with Hossa. Other than a couple of shootout goals his tenure with the Rangers has been a complete bust.

  24. Doodie Machetto on

    “Other than a couple of shootout goals his tenure with the Rangers has been a complete bust.”

    No, he had that month last year where he really clicked with Jagr and got Jagr going. It’s a big reason why we made the playoffs. It also kept our big line split up so that we could have two liones. He was important for us in that sense. But we don’t need him anymore, and I wish him luck signing elsewhere in the future.

  25. keep dawes deal prucha….yup.

    Looks like the East is starting to brush off a little of the parity. 7pts now separate 5th and 6th place. We only have 1 game in hand now on most teams, so everyone is pretty much caught up. I’m not gonna freak out about it yet. We seem to come to play when we know we have to. Still all about those last 10 games. Every single one of them is a 4pt swing. It’s going to be fun….I hope.

  26. Rucchin – Just your chosen tag “Rucchin20” shows how little you know about hockey. Could you find a less talented player to idolize? I guess you must know that Hollweg has a no-trade clause, or that he has a gentleman’s agreement with Slats that he can’t be put on waivers or sent to Hartford. And I work at Dominos, not Pizza Hut.

  27. Doodie..a month might be pushing it a bit. I thought it was more like 2 weeks but regardless of that I agree that we don’t need him anymore.

  28. I just went to the web site and they have the schedule for Saturday on the home page. They do not even mention the NYR vs BUF game. Morons!!!!

  29. Doodie Machetto on

    Rob, it was a month starting in early February running until he got hurt in early March.

    What’s funnt is that, in looking at his game by game stats to determine how long it was, I noticed that he and Jagr didn’t combine on a single goal until Hossa’s last goal before being injured (Jags had an assist). Pretty funny considering that they both had started scoring, even though they weren’t hooking up with each other.

  30. Doodie Machetto on

    Richard, so quick to call other morons instead of thinking about why they listed those five games. There are 11 games that day. Instead of asking, why no Rangers, why not ask, why not all 11? Here’s why: Those five games are nationally broadcasted.

    Now who is the moron?

  31. Did the guys have a workout today or was it cancelled for a snow day? ;^)


    Richard may have jumped to conclusions, but I have been frustrated with the NHL website to. Last week wehn discussing the upcoming games they posted that the Rangers were on the outside of the playoff race looking in. THis was when we were in sixth place… maybe Richard had seen that and jumped to conclusions about the NHL having a thing against the Rangers and constantly giving them crappy officiating and the short end of the stick in actual good publicity. Just a thought in Richard’s defence.

  32. Guys….Here is the thing: Last year we were psyched to be in 5th place because we played the Assers from Atlanta. This year, if we are not going to win the division (I would put our chances at about 20%), we should hope to finish 5th again so we can play Carolina.

    That being said, I still don’t fear anyone in 7 games because we saw what we can do against Montreal (insert joke about the collapse here) and they look to be the best team in the Conference right now. Remember, we did something not dissimilar to them on Feb 3rd.

    But it is food for thought.

    Reality is that Stuart has it right and I alluded to this before, we have like 12 of our final games versus Philly, Isles, Devils, and Pitt….therein lies the season.

  33. And BTW, Doodie, I agree with Agravaine….Richard was calling the guys at NHL website morons. No one on this site. Your pen name is Doodie, as in “Poop”…NOW, who is the moron?

    I am joking around to a degree, but can’t we all just get along?

  34. I have been saying this whole “ending our season against division rivals” for a very long time now. We have had great success against them so far, but nothing is a given. Let’s hope we don’t get too cocky just because we have been good so far this year. I hope we can finish strong! Let’s Go Rangers!

  35. newman – no doubt MTL is the hottest team in the East right now. But just like our chances and the rest of the bubble teams to move up, we all have roughly 20 games left. Anything can happen. The hot team going in usually advances at least past the first round. 20 games is a long time for a team to slide, or get comfortable.

    Agravaine – it’s not just the rangers that get ‘crappy officiating’. It’s bad league wide. ERIC(above) would probably confirm that. If you watch enough games(center ice), you’ll find that the officiating varies from game to game, ref to ref.

  36. New Newman – You mean *6th* not 5th. The SE division winner will be finishing *3rd*. I wonder if the teams in that division are embarassed every year to only get one or two teams into the playoffs. It’s a shame that Tampa Bay actually won the Cup in 2004.

  37. Jonny D – Thanks for reminding everyone that Tampa Bay doesn’t need another goaltender, unless he is an NHL starter. They have Ramo already up and Helenius waiting behind him. I read that they might want to move Holmqvist to a team that needs a backup, probably to just bring up their two young goalies for the rest of the season.

    Doodie – We don’t need a backup goaly! (as we’re now spelling it here, haha)

  38. Beer Me

    I know I here it from fans of all teams that there is crap officiting, but I don’t see any plaers get disrespected like jagr does, get hooked and held and bear hugged and punched in the back of the head and have nothing called. And Avery also gets no call based on reputation. I know every team has fans that complain about officiating, and I hate doing it, but I keep seeing more and more cause for it, which is frustrating because there is nothing to be done about it.

  39. Why is everyone so tight lipped about any trades that the rangers are rumored to be making if any. We have at least 4 players we could get a decent return on that should go. Only 5 days left. So whats the news,rumors or what ever ya wanna cal it. Oh ya the 4 players I would trade that I think we could get a few good players,montoya,jagr,Straka,Prucha…..All this said I say thta we’re not gonna do much at the dead line.
    Maybe something small is all.

  40. Doodie,

    Nationally broadcasted in Canada. Last I checked NBC was national in the US not CBC or RDS. NBC has no game on Saturday or Sunday. So why am I a moron? Yes I know there are 11 games.

    You owe me an apology. For calling me a moron when I called no one on this blog a moron or you. I think you demanded one from Stuart when he was wrong in calling you names.

    The rest of you thanks for the back up.

  41. acdaviddc – We don’t need another *center*. We need a wing, especially if we trade Jagr.

    I’d really like to see Hollweg go…to the bench. Whoever said that he would have been scratched on Tuesday if Orr didn’t have the flu, who was going to play for him? Strudwick? I don’t think so. Strudwick only played for Orr because it was an emergency. I don’t care if we have to put a scorer in Hollweg’s place who might be upset because he won’t score as much. Well, the only goals Hollweg scored this season were in the only game I attended. Put Dawes or Prucha or Hossa down there (preferably Hossa) when one returns.

  42. Hey Sam,

    Getting trade deadline fever and wanted to throw some trade options out there:

    TB gets: Montoya, Prucha and a conditional draft pick
    (if Boyle signs an extension w/NYR)


    NYR gets: Dan Boyle

    Also, some crazy rumors out there on one site said the Flames were talking about aquiring Jagr. I don’t think Sather will trade Jagr at the deadline because Renney and Sather would rather have him walk in the summer, perhaps because of their respect for him. However, I say Sather should explore trade options and if thereis a decent trade out there we shpould try to get something in return.

    Renney knows we need to build this team next yr and in the long term around Gomez, Drury, the young forwards (Dubinsky, Callahan, Dawes) as well as our young defensemen (Staal, Girardi, Tyutin and Sanguinetti in years to come).

    If Calgary was interested, who would we get back or want back? They wouldnt trade Iginla, but how about:

    Jagr and a 1/2ndround pick for Dion Phaneuf.

    May be wishful thinking, but it would solidify our defense for years to come with Staal and Phaneuf on the backline.

    Or how about the Montreal Canadiens who GM Bob Gainey said they would like to aquire an impact player at the deadline – sounds like a Jagr type. Plus Jagr and Kovalev together on the same line would be dynamic.

    Jagr for Mike Komisarek and a pick?

    Your thoughts, Sam?

  43. Calgary is not trading Phaneuf and Montoya and Prucha will not get you Boyle. Next!
    (Komisarek trade probably just won’t happen, though it seems fair)

  44. Doodie Machetto on

    I wasn’t calling anyone a moron. I was simply pointing out that you shouldn’t call anyone a name because there’s always two sides to a story.

    As for the second side to this one, caters to Canadian readership as well, so games that are nationally broadcasted in canada count to them as nationally broadcasted. There’s an HDNet game listed among those five. That’s national in the US. They don’t care which country it is so long as it is national.

  45. acdaviddc – toronto is trying to build for the future. jagr would take them in the complete opposite direction. They want youth. and LOTS of it.

    agravaine – I hear ya about the calls on jags. But ‘big picture’, officiating is bad everywhere. Also, Avery doesn’t get the calls b/c he built that rep as you know. And quite frankly he hasn’t earned back the rep yet to get those calls. He dug his own hole. That’s where slats was coming from on his ‘detriment’ remark in arbitration last summer.

  46. #1 thing to do on a snow day from work…

    Reorganize all Rangers memorabilia. Time to go tear apart a couple rubbermaid containers and separate all the goodies.

  47. Man, if Tampa is Shopping Richards, I’d rather have him than Boyle…Richards is a hell of a player and only 27…

    by the by…

    our last 10 games are vs divisional opponents…

  48. Nick,

    none of those teams would make those trades. and the last thing kovalev’s line needs is jagr to slow it down, montreal wants a winger to play with koivu i believe, but komisarek is their top defensive defenseman so he isn’t going anywhere. basically any team who would trade for jagr would put him on their 2nd line where he belongs

  49. It is scary how we can beat the best teams and lose to the worst. Is this kind of mental breakdown the coaches fault, the players fault or a combo of the two? Do you think a trade will straighten this problem out?
    PS-pack your bags Malik.

  50. Phioneauf is 23 yr old mega stud… he is not getting traded just like Staal is going no where for about 12 yrs….

    The teams that will trade for these renta players will all regret it except if it is Detroit or the dicks teams that are legit championship material..

    Prucha is 25 and if played soem real minutes and some PP, he can score, I believe that.

    Guys the Rangers problem this yr. is not real complicated there big scorers mainly Jagr, then Straka, and even less Shanny(he is 39) are not producing….Drury will wind up with 23 to 29 goals, not unbeleivable but not bad, GOmez is an assist guy he will wind up with 70+ points(the transition period took time), Jagr hould get 85 points in his sleep with 35 goals and that is not HAPPENING.And Jagr gets huge minutes.

    Again I like Jagr but the mystery for the teams lack of success is not a mystery. Someone said Jagr should be pn the 2nd line I think that may be true this is not a 10 game slump but a season long slump….

  51. Lecavieler loks bad recently.. As I said the other day he dogged it against the Sabres and that gave the Sabres 2 point, last night he did look bad..

    that team is old, there 2nd tier players stink, and are going no where for yrs…..

  52. I’m not sure what the story is with the rest of Canada, but in TO (Toronto for you Yanks) and the Hammer (Hamilton)… both have some form of NBC, CBS, ABC in addition to CBC.

    Not sure if it’s because they’re close to the border or what…

    But network wise they’re watching The Office just like everyone else.

  53. Spiderpig…Yes, thanks for the correction. I can’t do simple counting sometimes. 6th would be great cuz we would pay the SE division winner.

    Again though, so much depends on the final battles versus our division rivals any other things we contemplate about seedings and the like is just mental masturbation.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like things associated with that subject….

  54. “jonny d


    what drugs do you take? prucha not an NHL player? 30&20? hossa on 2nd line?


    Prucha had 1 really good season. He was a rookie. Then he needed to adjust his game an he hasn’t done it. And sure I’m a fan of Hossa, I just think he gets a bad rap because his bro is a hell of a lot better than him (even though Marcel is a better playoff performer. haha) and he wasn’t utilized right in Montreal.

    He didn’t like being there and I think it set him back a couple of years. He’s still 25 and I think he can be a 40 or 50 point player if he ever reaches his potential. On this pace I dont think he will reach his potential, but who knows. And I didn’t say we need to keep him, I just said I thought we should. If we let him go its fine by me, because it might be what he needs to become a better player.

  55. Hey Nick, wherever it is that you score the drugs you take, please pass the info along!

    I know, why not package Malik, Hollweg, Hossa, and Montoya to Pittsburgh for Sidney Crosby? I mean they’ve done so well without him..They’ll take that deal, right?

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