Kevin Weekes

Busy Day For Rangers

New York today announced the re-signing of restricted free agent goaltender Kevin Weekes to a contract.  Weekes agreed to a two year, 3.9 million dollar contract, which is approximately $300,000 more per year than what he signed on for as an unrestricted free agent last summer.  The 30 year old netminder will likely be the starter going into the season, but will potentially face competition as time goes on from rookies Henrik Lundqvist and Al Montoya as well as an expected fourth goaltender yet to be signed.

The Rangers goaltending coach Benoit Allaire is reportedly excited about the prospect of working with Weekes, which no doubt played into the decision to bring him back.  The Toronto native will take over the reigns from unrestricted free agent netminder Mike Dunham who is unlikely to be back with the organization.  Weekes will suit up for his sixth NHL team after stints with the Panthers, Canucks, Islanders, Lightning and Hurricanes.  In 277 NHL appearances, Weekes is 78-136-33 with a 2.86 GAA and .912 Save Percentage.

 REGULAR SEASON
YearTeamGPWLTMinsGASOGAAShotsSv%
1997-98FLA110514853203.962470.885
1998-99VAN110815323403.832570.883
1999-00VAN206749874712.864610.907
1999-00NYI3610204202511513.4111730.911
2000-01TBL6120333338217743.1417420.908
2001-02CAR2200120301.50410.932
2001-02TBL193908304022.894700.922
2002-03CAR5114249296512652.5514380.919
2003-04CAR66233011376414662.3316520.919
Totals 277781363315090720192.8674810.912


Rangers Sign Defenseman Marek Malik

Apparently looking to offset the loss of Karel Rachunek to the Russian Superleague, the Rangers have signed free agent defenseman Marek Malik away from the Vancouver Canucks.  The 30 year old native of Ostrava in the Czech Republic reportedly signed a three year deal worth 7.5 million to play for his third NHL team.  Drafted in the 3rd round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Hartford Whalers, the 6-5 235lb defenseman played parts of ten seasons with the Hartford/Carolina franchise before being traded in 2002 to the Vancouver Canucks.  Since the trade Malik has managed an impressive +58 in just 147 NHL regular season games and was tied for the lead league in 2003/04 with a +35 plus/minus rating.

In two seasons with the Canucks, Malik has averaged over 18 minutes of ice time per game which ranked him 5th on the team amongst defenseman.  He had a career high of 7 goals for Vancouver in the 2002-03 season and reached 20 points on two occasions in his time with the Hurricanes.

 REGULAR SEASON
YearTeamGPGAPtsPIM+/-PPSHGGWSOG
1994-95HFD1011010000
1995-96HFD70004-30002
1996-97HFD4715650500133
1998-99CAR52291136-610036
1999-00CAR5741014631300157
2000-01CAR616142034-410172
2001-02CAR824192388800091
2002-03CAR1002216-30009
2002-03VAN6971118522311268
2003-04VAN7831619453500061
Totals 464278711438869315429


Rangers Add Forward Martin Straka

The Rangers surprised many today by adding diminutive forward Martin Straka to the team.  The 5-9 178 pound forward joins the Rangers after finishing the 2003-04 season on the injury list with the Los Angeles Kings.  An offensively creative player, Straka has struggled to stay healthy in the past three seasons, missing a total of 119 games with Pittsburgh and LA.  A former teammate of Ranger right wing Jaromir Jagr, Straka has played both center and wing positions and registered season of 83 and 95 points in his time with Pittsburgh.  Straka’s deal with the Rangers is for one year for 3 million dollars..

It is expected that the versatile forward will likely join Jaromir Jagr and Michael Nylander as a left wing on the Rangers top line, but he is equally at home at center and could potentially supplant Nylander or be used on a line with two lesser experienced players.

 REGULAR SEASON
YearTeamGPGAPtsPIM+/-PPSHGGWSOG
1992-93PIT423131629200128
1993-94PIT843034642424206130
1994-95PIT314121616000036
1994-95OTT61120-100013
1995-96OTT439162529-1450163
1995-96NYI22210126-600018
1995-96FLA122466110017
1996-97FLA557222912920194
1997-98PIT7519234228-1434117
1998-99PIT803548832612544177
1999-00PIT712039592624312146
2000-01PIT822768953819714185
2001-02PIT135490310133
2002-03PIT6018284612-18704136
2003-04PIT22481216-1610034
2003-04LAK3268144-911034
Totals 730##338530272293910281261


Labarbera Heads West

After excelling with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL the past two seasons, Jason Labarbera has elected to try his luck elsewhere.  The 2003 AHL League MVP faced stiff competition from the newly signed pair of Henrik Lundqvist and Al Montoya and no doubt felt his options were limited if he remained with the Rangers.  A Group VI unrestricted free agent by virtue of his limited NHL experience and age, Labarbera will join a Los Angeles Kings where he will likely try to make a case to earn backup duties in the NHL.

A third round pick by the Rangers in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Labarbera leaves the Rangers with just five NHL appearances and a 1-2-0 record, with the win coming in March of 2004 after New York had cleared several of their veterans from the roster including backup netminder Jussi Markkanen

REGULAR SEASON
SeasonGPWLTMinsSOGASVSAGAASv% 
2000-200110001000220.001.000 
2003-2004412019801675914.850.824 
Total512020801677934.620.828 


Bobby Holik Signs With Atlanta

Just days after being bought out by the Rangers, centerman Bobby Holik has signed a three year deal with the Atlanta Thrashers scheduled to pay him 4.25 million in his first year.

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