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,â€ Straka told me. â€œAnd then whateverâ€™s going to happen is going to happen after the season. If Iâ€™m done after this season, Iâ€™m done. If I come back, I come back. Either way, itâ€™s not going to kill me.â€
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.
â€œIt depends on how you feel about your game at the end of the year,â€ he said. â€œYou go up and down. Now Iâ€™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. Itâ€™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.â€