Thursday, March 31, 2016

Matej Stransky Named Lone Star Grille/100 Degree Hockey Player of the Week

(Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Each week, we name the Lone Star Grille/100 Degree Hockey Player of the Week. Lone Star Grille offers happy hour weekdays from 4-7 PM just minutes from the Cedar Park Center. The new Higher Ground Bar at the Grille is a smoke-free bar open 6 PM to 2 AM Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Redeem your game ticket for reverse happy hour from 10-12 PM with $2 off specialty cocktails, $4.00 house wine and $2.50 domestic longnecks.

Unlike last week, there are quite a few candidates for the player of the week this time around. Justin Dowling and Maxime Lagace make strong arguments, but I went with Matej Stransky. The third year Czech is undoubtedly having the best year of his professional career. The past week saw him pot four goals, including two on the power play, and an assist.

He is getting the nod here because of the role he was forced into as injuries and callups mounted for the Stars. Not a lot of folks would have slotted Stransky for extended time on the first line and on the power play at the beginning of the year. However, his line with Dickinson and McKenzie was the engine that kept the Stars afloat through injuries to players like Morin, Rallo, and Dowling and the callups of Faksa and Ritchie.

Stransky is an RFA this summer and will be an interesting case. He's easy to qualify as you expect him to spend the year with the AHL squad. However, does he stick around? He could easily play in Europe with his Czech citizenship an EU passport. If he's Matt Stransky from Kamloops, BC, this probably isn't a discussion. He will certainly have leverage to work out a good deal in Europe if that's his option. His 19 goals and 16 assists are both career highs.

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