Agent denies report of Rangers' Straka leaving for Czech Republic

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- A report out of the Czech Republic has Martin Straka leaving the New York Rangers and returning to his former Czech club.

Straka's agent, however, denied the report.

"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.

The club, HC Lasselsberger Plzen, announced on its Web site Thursday that Straka, who played for the Rangers the past three seasons after joining the NHL in 1992, would be a player and sports director for the club.

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

Winter, however, told the Canadian Press: ''Plzen has made an aggressive offer but it's just one of the offers he will be considering," adding that teams from Russia and Sweden also were interested in Straka.

The 35-year-old forward, who will be an unrestricted agent on July 1, scored 257 goals and had 460 assists in 954 NHL regular-season games, and added 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 signing with the Rangers in 2005. He scored 14 goals and had 27 assists last season.

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