30 November 2003. STRAKA TRADED TO L.A. KINGS.

Marty Straka honored by 16,569 fans with bobbleheads: 23 Dec 2002

The top line of Straka, Lemieux, and Kovalev took over the third period of the game against Buffalo on Monday night, tallying up four goals in less than ten minutes. Kovy (2+1), Lemieux (1+3), and Straka (1+2) proved to the fans that they are in fact, the Penguins' top line. I was indeed fortunate enough to witness the wonderful event of Lemieux's first-ever "quick shot off the faceoff between the goalie's five-hole" goal in person, and the bobblehead giveaway was a success...

7 Dec 2002
Marty got his 300th assist tonight against the New York Islanders, assisting on Jonsson's goal of the first period....Woo hoo!

29 October 2002
After six months of sitting on the sofa, eating chocolate chip cookies, and watching his team hit a fifteen game no-win slump, Martin Straka stepped back onto the ice as his journey back to the first line continued. His streak of bad luck may finally end as this season begins. Dubbed "the guy most likely to wear bubble wrap while leaving his house" byThe Sporting News, Straka has overcome a broken back, a broken tibia, a broken orbital bone, and a broken ankle, all within the last nine months.

I spoke to Marty personally, at the Penguins practice at the Iceoplex on October 18th. Here's a transcript of what happened.

ME: (excited and nervous)M-m-m-maaar-arty, c-c-can you s-s-s-sign this f-for m-m-me?
MARTY: Of course.
(pause while Marty takes off his gloves and shuffles hockey sticks. I hold out my brand-new Straka jersey and black permanent marker.)
Th-th-thank y-you.
MARTY: No problem.
ME:(thoughtfully) D-d-do you know wh-when you're coming b-b-back?
MARTY: (smiles) Two weeks.
ME: (relieved) Y-you look gr-great. G-good luck! Th-thank y-you!
MARTY: Thank you! Bye!

So that translates into an intelligent conversation/interview, in which Marty revealed to me, personally, that he would be dressed and ready to play on November 6th. Thank you, Marty!

August 2002: It's Official-- the Hockey Gods Hate Straka

As if things couldn't get any worse... out of the Czech Republic: While doing some off-season weight training and conditioning, Martin Straka had a 350-lb. weight machine fall on top of him when teammate and spotter Milan Kraft left to go do an apparently more important errand. Marty luckily avoids having to get back surgery, and will miss the beginning of the season.

...and in case you've missed out on the last year...
28 October 2001: Marty breaks right tibia while trying to pass Florida Panthers defenseman Lance Ward. Ward sticks Straka in between his legs, trips him up, and snaps his leg. Straka successfully undergoes surgery to put pins in his leg, but he is out until February.
February 2002: In Marty's first game back since October, his right orbital bone is broken by fellow teammate and goalie, Johan Hedberg. With the puck behind the net in the first period, Straka uses his speed to beat the L.A. Kings to the puck. Unfortunately, Hedberg doesn't see Straka, and tries to clear the puck with his goalie stick. He smacks Straka in the face, breaking his orbital bone. Straka has a metal plate put into his head during surgery, and will wear a face shield.
March 2002: In Marty's only thirteenth game of the season, his skate gets caught on the ice and he goes down again. This time, he has broken his right ankle and will be out for the rest of the season... : (

Name: Martin Straka
D.O.B.: 3 September 1972
Height: 5'10"
Weight:176 lbs.
Hometown: Plzen, Czech Republic
Status: married.

Last Game Played: 7 Nov 2003
Games this season: 12
Total Games Played: 688 games
Goals Scored: 186 goals
Assists: 325 assists
Total Points: 511 points

This season: 4g, 4a, 8pts

Last Playoff Game: May 2001 at NJ
Playoff Games Played: 82 (wow!)
Goals Scored: 21 goals
Assists: 29 assists
Total Points: 50 points
Overtime Game-Winners in 2000-2001: 2 goals

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