Straka began his NHL career with Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 and went from mere survivor to scoring star. After netting 64 points in his first year, he went into serious decline, as he bounced around three teams in two seasons. But when he returned to Penguins in 1997, he maximized his chances and impressively rebounded into a key figure and Penguins all-star.
Though only five feet nine, Straka became a giant performer. He would excel where it counted most-scoring important goals in the playoffs. Straka was a clever and intelligent player and great leader. He had a style that was somewhat reckless, but he managed to avoid getting battered by the bigger bodies in the NHL for the most part and became one of the Penguins' most prolific players of all time. After leaving NHL in 2008, he came back to Czech republic and served six more seasons as the captain of HC Plzen, the team where he was also a franchise owner and general manager. In 2013 he celebrated the Czech title. After retiring, he quickly moved into a coaching position. figure and Penguins all-star.
Straka enjoyed success on international ice as well, winning a gold medal at the Nagano Olympic games (1998), bronze medal at the Torino Olympic games (2006) and a gold medal at the World championship in 2005.
- 2014-03-14 • Announced his retirement
- 2008-07-10 • Signed by HC Plzen
- 2005-08-02 • Signed by the New York Rangers
- 2003-11-30 • Traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Martin Strbak & the rights to Sergei Anshakov
- 1997-08-06 • Signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins
- 1996-03-15 • Claimed off waivers by the Florida Panthers
- 1996-01-23 • Traded to the New York Islanders with & Don Beaupre & the rights to Bryan Berard for Damian Rhodes & the rights to Wade Redden
- 1995-04-07 • Traded to the Ottawa Senators for Troy Murray & Norm Maciver
- 1992-06-20 • Selected 19th overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins
Other memorable dates
- 1993-02-10 • Scored his first NHL goal (vs. New York Rangers vs. Mike Richter)
- 1992-11-07 • Made his NHL debut (vs. Toronto Maple Leafs)