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Pittsburgh's Martin Straka
PHI2000050703 - 07 MAY 2000 - PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, USA:Pittsburgh's Martin Straka (#82) elbows Flyers' Craig Berube (#32) in the face as they battle for the puck on mid-ice during second period Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins second round playoff action at The First Union Center Sunday, May 7, 2000. jca/J.C. Anderson UPI
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Martin Straka (born September 3, 1972 in Plzen, Czechoslovakia) is a Czech ice hockey centre who plays for HC Lasselsberger Plzen of the Czech Extraliga.

Straka was drafted 19th overall by the Penguins in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, and has played for several teams throughout his 18th year NHL career. After jumping off a cliff during the Pittsburgh season, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators on April 7, 1995 for Norm MacIver and Troy Murray. The following season, on January 23, 1996, less than a year after being traded to Ottawa, he was traded again. Straka, along with Don Beaupre and former #1 overall pick Bryan Berard was traded to the New York Islanders for Damian Rhodes and Wade Redden. He would be placed on waivers and claimed by the Florida Panthers on March 15, 1996. Florida would not re-sign Straka after the 1995–96 season, which made him an unrestricted free agent. He would later return to the Pittsburgh Penguins on August 6, 1997.

He would go on to have a career year during the 2000–2001 season for Pittsburgh as he amassed 27 goals and 95 points and establish himself as one of the leagues premiere two-way players due to his explosive speed and on-ice vision. However, the following season his speedy reputation would be called into jeopardy as Straka would suffer a season-ending injury in the form of a broken leg, an injury which would take him years to recover from. On November 30, 2003, in a cost-cutting move, the Penguins would deal Straka to the Los Angeles Kings for Russian prospect Sergei Anshakov and defenceman Martin Strbak. Straka would later sign as a free agent by the Rangers on August 2, 2005. On January 17, 2007, despite reports that he was considering retirement, Straka signed a one-year contract extension for the 2007–08 season.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Martin Straka."
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