Yesterday, we took the time to look at former defenseman Magnus Svensson (46 games, four goals, 14 assists), current center Mike Santorelli (142 games, 29 goals, 23 assists), and former defenseman Oleg Kvasha (146 games, 17 goals, 33 assists). In today’s writeup, we will take a peek at a defenseman from Newfoundland and two Czechs, a center and a defenseman.
Follow the jump to read on.
84. Keith Brown
Brown skated with the WHL Portland Winter Hawks for parts of three seasons, totalling 22 goals and 128 assists in 144 contests when selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He was a 19 year old, 6’1″ defenseman from Corner Brook, Newfoundland selected in the first round with the seventh overall pick.
Brown made his professional debut in 1979-80 with the Blackhawks, and would remain on the NHL roster for the next 14 seasons. He ranks 12th on Chicago’s all-time leaderboard with 812 games played. He scored 64 goals and 266 assists with a plus-52 rating and 854 PIM. Chicago traded him to the Panthers just prior to their inaugural 1993-94 season for Darin Kimble. He added four goals and 32 assists in 103 playoff matchups.
For the first edition of the Panthers, Brown provided blue line experience and depth. He totalled 51 games, scoring four goals on 52 shots along with eight assists, a team second-best plus-11 rating, and 60 PIM. Brown missed two months in the middle of the season with an injury.
1994-95 would see Brown miss most of the strike-shortened season with another injury, playing in 13 games and finishing with an even rating and 10 shots taken on goal. He currently works as a network analyst in Georgia.
All-Time Statline: Two seasons, 64 games, four goals, eight assists, 12 points, plus-12 rating, 62 PIM, 4.3 APS.
83. Pavel Trnka
Trnka was a 6’2″ defenseman from Plzen, Czechloslovakia when the Anaheim Mighty Ducks selected him in the fifth round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft with the 106th overall pick. He played his first two professional seasons with the AHL Baltimore Bandits, scoring eight goals and 20 assists in 138 contests.
Trnka would see his first NHL action in 1997-98 with the NHL’s version of the Ducks, splitting the season between the AHL Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (23 games, three goals, five assists) and Anaheim (48 games, three goals, four assists).
In 1998-99, Trnka reported to Anaheim, staying with the club for a total of four and a half more seasons. He totalled 11 goals and 47 assists in 322 games. The Ducks traded him to the Panthers on January 30, 2003 with Matt Cullen and a fourth round pick (James Pemberton) for Sandis Ozolinsh and Lance Ward.
Trnka finished the 2002-03 season with the Panthers, appearing in 22 games and failing to light the lamp in 25 shots on goal. He collected three assists and a minus-1 rating, finishing the season with 24 PIM.
2003-04 would see Trnka open the season on Florida’s roster. He scored his first goal with the Panthers in a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 23, also collecting an assist on the night. He totalled three goals on 66 shots, made 13 assists, a plus-2 rating, and 51 minutes in the box.
When the 2004-05 season was cancelled, Trnka signed on with Plzen HC in the Czech League (113 games, 18 goals, 18 assists). He has also appeared with the Swedish Elite teams Leksands IF (seven games, three assists), and Malmo IF (20 games, one assist). He has spent the last five seasons back in the Czech League with Vitkovice HC (208 games, five goals, 29 assists).
All-Time Statline: Two seasons, 89 games, three goals, 16 assists, 19 points, plus-1 rating, 75 PIM, 4.4 APS.
82. Martin Straka
When originally drafted, Straka was a 5’9″ center from Plzen, Czechoslovakia. The Pittsburgh Penguins selected him in the first round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft with the 19th overall pick.
Straka played in parts of three seasons with the Penguins during his first tour of duty with the club. He totalled 37 goals and 59 assists, along with a plus-26 rating. Pittsburgh traded him to the Ottawa Senators on April 7, 1995 for Troy Murray and Norm Maciver.
Straka played in the last six games of the season with the Senators, appearing in the first 43 games of the following season before again getting traded. He finished with 10 goals and 17 assists in 49 contests, joining the New York Islanders on January 23, 1996 with Don Beaupre and Bryan Berard for Damian Rhodes and Wade Redden. He would score two goals and 10 assists in 22 games for New York before the Islanders placed him on the waiver wire, where the Panthers picked him up.
Straka finished out the season with the Cats, scoring two goals on 17 shots, along with four assists in the last 12 games of the regular season. He played in 13 of Florida’s postseason matchups, scoring twice on 20 shots along with four assists as the Cats earned the Eastern Conference Championship.
Classic Florida Panthers Goal 1996 Playoffs (via tjackson76)
In 1996-97, Straka appeared in 55 games with Florida. He scored two goals along with an assist in a 3-3 tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 26. He had six multi-point efforts that season, scoring seven goals on 94 shots, along with 22 assists and a plus-9 rating. In four postseason matches, he took two shots on goal, finishing with a minus-2 rating. After the season ended, he signed a free agent contract to play again with the Penguins.
In his second run through Pittsburgh, Straka played in parts of seven seasons. He racked up 128 goals and 218 assists in 403 matches, earning a spot in the 1999 All-Star Game. He later also made NHL appearances with the Los Angeles Kings (32 games, six goals, eight assists), and the New York Rangers (224 games, 65 goals, 122 assists). He has spent the last four seasons in the Czech League with Plzen HC (188 games, 73 goals, 130 assists).
All-Time Statline: Two seasons, 67 games, nine goals, 26 assists, 35 points, plus-10 rating, 18 PIM, 4.4 APS.
I hope you enjoyed today’s foray into Panthers of recent and (relative) distant past. Make sure to leave a comment below, vote in the poll, and check back tomorrow as we take a look at a two right wingers, a Russian and a Swede, as well as a Finnish left winger.
Straka was an All-Star with the Penguins. He is still playing with a Czech League, at a high level of contribution. If he were to make a return (like fellow former Penguin Jagr), what line would you put him on?
|First Line – Weiss is really just a second line center, and always has been||0|
|Second line – we could bump Goc down to the bottom six||9|
|Third line – Matthias is already on borrowed time||21|
|Fourth line – Straka is better than anyone we have left||8|