As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Yesterday we saw #7 Michal Rozsival take out #10 Matt Cullen. Today’s matchup is #2 Martin Straka vs. #15 Wojtek Wolski:
Martin Straka (acquired – 2005 unrestricted free agent)
Many laughed when the Rangers signed Straka after the lockout, thinking that this lowly addition couldn’t possibly help the Rangers at all. Instead, Straka clicked with Jaromir Jagr and Michael Nylander to the tune of 76 points (22-54-76) in his first season. Straka’s contributions helped the Rangers secure their first playoff spot in eight years. Straka played two additional seasons with the Rangers, finishing his NHL career in New York. Overall, he played 224 games with the club, putting together a line of 65-122-187, which is pretty solid.
Straka’s three years in New York were the last three of his NHL career. He returned home to the Czech Republic after the 2007-2008 season.
Wojtek Wolski (acquired – 2011 trade with Phoenix)
The Rangers acquired Wolski from Phoenix to address their scoring woes, sending Michal Rozsival to the Coyotes in exchange for the winger. Wolski came with baggage and a history of inconsistency, but also with tremendous skill. He played 37 games with the Rangers that season, putting up a line of 6-13-19, which is pretty on par with his career average to that point. However, his inconsistency caught up to him, and he played just nine games with the Rangers the following season.
Wolski was eventually sent to Florida for Mike Vernace and a 3rd round pick. The 3rd rounder was used to acquire Ryane Clowe.
So who do you think is the better Ranger, Straka or Wolski? Vote thumbs up for the higher seed (Straka), or thumbs down for the lower seed (Wolski). Voting ends at midnight tonight."Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 1, Martin Straka (2) vs. Wojtek Wolski (15)",