One of the highest-scoring Czech players of all time is hanging up his skates.
Martin Rucinsky — who sits 12th all-time among Czech NHLers in points — has announced his retirement from professional hockey at the age of 44, according to iSport.
The 20th overall pick at the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, Rucinsky spent 17 years in the NHL with Edmonton, Quebec/Colorado, Montreal, Dallas, New York (Rangers), Blues and Canucks.
His best season came when he was involved in one of the biggest trades in NHL history — the Avs sent him to Montreal in ’95-96 as part of the Patrick Roy deal, and Rucinsky went on to finish the year with a career-high 75 points in 78 games. All told, Rucinsky scored 612 points in 961 contests.
Though his last NHL action came in 2008, Rucinsky continued to play at a fairly high level right up until his retirement. He spent parts of three seasons with Czech side Sparta Praha before moving to HC Litvinov and, last season, finished second on the team in scoring with 54 points in 51 games.
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed Travis Konecny, the second of their two first-round picks at this year’s draft, to a three-year, entry-level deal.
Konecny, 18, scored 29 goals and 68 points in 60 games for OHL Ottawa this season, captaining the 67’s in just his second year with the club. He also captained Canada at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
On Day 2 of the draft, he was named the inaugural winner of the “E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence,” given to the draft-eligible prospect who best exemplifies the commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness and athleticism.
Expected by some to go higher than he did at the draft, Konecny was snagged by the Flyers after GM Ron Hextall traded up to the No. 24 spot to select him.
“It’s motivating,” Konecny said of his draft-day slide, per Philly.com. “When I went into the day, I wasn’t really sure where I was going to end up anyway, so it wasn’t like it was a disappointment.
“Being able to slip to 24 and come to Philadelphia was definitely not something I was upset about. It was awesome, and I was excited about it.”
Related: Philadelphia signs ’15 first-rounder Provorov
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Last month, the San Jose Sharks bought Adam Burish out of the final year of his contract. Now, Burish is out to “prove some people wrong,” adding that “getting out of San Jose will be for the better.” (Chicago Tribune)
Calgary farmhands Bill Arnold and Bryce Van Brabant have signed their qualifying offers. (Calgary Herald)
Former Toronto Maple Leafs first-rounder Tyler Biggs, widely considered a draft bust, is looking to shed that label after getting dealt to Pittsburgh in the Phil Kessel trade. (Post-Gazette)
Former Minnesota North Stars players will participate when the Minnesota Wild and Blackhawks hold their alumni game festivities prior to their Stadium Series outdoor game on Feb. 21 at TCF Bank Stadium. (ESPN 1500 Minnesota)
The Los Angeles Kings announced the signing of d-man prospect Erik Cernak, their second-round pick at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. (LA Kings Insider)