Petr Sýkora

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"Peter Sykora" redirects here. For the East German footballer, see Peter Sykora (footballer).
For the HC Davos player who played 12 NHL games, see Petr Sýkora (ice hockey, born 1978).
Petr Sýkora
Petr Sýkora 2009.jpg
Sýkora at the Pittsburgh Penguins' Stanley Cup parade in 2009.
Born (1976-11-19) November 19, 1976 (age 38)
Plzeň, Czechoslovakia
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Left
Played for New Jersey Devils
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
New York Rangers
Edmonton Oilers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Minnesota Wild
SC Bern
National team  Czech Republic
NHL Draft 18th overall, 1995
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 1992–2013

Petr Sýkora (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpɛtr̩ ˈsiːkora]; born November 19, 1976) is a Czech retired professional ice hockey right winger who played in the NHL for the New Jersey Devils, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota Wild. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion, having won with the Devils in 2000 and the Penguins in 2009. Sýkora has played in six Stanley Cup Finals total.

Playing career[edit]

Before being drafted, Sýkora spent several seasons in the Czechoslovak Extraliga and the International Hockey League (IHL). As a Cleveland Lumberjack, Sýkora became the youngest player ever to play in the IHL at 17 years and 71 days.[1] He has also played for the (now defunct) IHL's Detroit Vipers.

In the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, Sýkora was drafted in the first round, 18th overall, by the New Jersey Devils. Sýkora began his NHL career in 1995–96 with New Jersey, posting 42 points in his rookie campaign, as well as being chosen as the NHL Rookie of the Month for December.[2] His career took off in his fourth NHL season, recording a breakout 72 points, which still stands as the second highest total of his career. As part of the Devils' effective "A-line", with Patrik Eliáš and Jason Arnott, he helped lead the team to a Stanley Cup in 2000 against the Dallas Stars. However, in the sixth and deciding game in Dallas, Sýkora suffered an injury and ended up in the hospital. When the Devils won the game to win the Stanley Cup, Devils head coach Larry Robinson and linemate Patrik Eliáš, wore Sýkora's jersey for him.[3] The team also brought the trophy to Sýkora in the hospital.[4] The next season, Sýkora and the Devils were only a game away from repeating as Stanley Cup champions, but lost in the seventh game to the Colorado Avalanche. That year, Sýkora recorded career highs with 35 goals, 46 assists and 81 points.

However, the next season, Sýkora's offensive production dropped to just 48 points, and the before the start of the 2002–03 season, he was traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for forward Jeff Friesen and defenceman Oleg Tverdovsky. In his first season with Anaheim, Sýkora appeared in his third Stanley Cup final, but lost to his former Devils teammates. En route to the finals, he scored the game-winning quintuple-overtime goal in the fourth-longest playoff game in NHL history in Game 1 of the conference semi-finals against the Dallas Stars.

While the 2004–05 NHL lockout was in effect, Sýkora played for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League, scoring 31 points in 45 games. As NHL play resumed in 2005–06, Sýkora requested to be traded from Anaheim and on January 9, 2006, the New York Rangers acquired Sýkora in exchange for young defenceman Maxim Kondratiev and the return of a 4th round draft pick the Rangers had previously traded to Anaheim.

After completing the season with New York, it was announced on July 7, 2006, that Sýkora would not return to the Rangers, and he was subsequently signed to a one-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers. On a line with countryman Ales Hemsky, Sýkora maintained the previous few seasons' scoring output and managed 53 points.

In July 2007, Sýkora signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins as an unrestricted free agent. After initially playing with Sidney Crosby, Sýkora was later lined up with Evgeni Malkin after Crosby suffered an injury towards the end of the season. Benefiting from his high-caliber linemates, Sýkora enjoyed his best offensive season since 2000–01, tallying 63 points.

Reaching the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings, Sýkora scored a triple-overtime goal on the powerplay in game five after previously telling on-ice reporter Pierre McGuire he would score the game-winner.[5] With the Penguins down 3-1 in the series, Sýkora's goal forced a game six. However, the Penguins could not stave off elimination for a second straight game and lost the Cup to Detroit. The series marked Sýkora's fourth time playing in a Stanley Cup final.

Sýkora in 2009 Stanley Cup Finals Game 6.
Sýkora as a member of the Penguins in February 2008.

The following season, on December 11, 2008, Sýkora scored his 8th, 9th and 10th goals of the season for his first career NHL hat trick against the New York Islanders at Mellon Arena.[6] Sýkora had previously recorded 38 career two-goal games in his career, the all-time NHL record for most two-goal games without a single hat trick.[7] Later that season, on April 7, 2009, Sýkora scored his 300th career NHL goal in a 6-4 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning.[8] In early-May 2009, Sýkora began struggling with a shoulder injury. He finished his second season in Pittsburgh with 25 goals and 46 points over 76 games. Bolstering their lineup at the trade deadline, the Penguins acquired wingers Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz, resulting in decreased ice time for Sýkora. During the 2009 playoffs, he was regularly made a healthy scratch. He played in 7 of the Penguins' 24 post-season games as the team returned to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Red Wings for the second straight year. Sýkora made his first appearance of the series in Game 6, but injured his right foot blocking a shot six minutes into the contest. Sidelined for the deciding Game 7, he forced his swelled foot into a skate to join the Penguins on the ice for their post-game celebration after defeating the Red Wings 2–1. Although Sýkora won the trophy with the Devils in 2000, he was unable to lift the Stanley Cup after a hit sent him to the hospital the night of the victory.[4]

Sýkora with the Wild, October 2009.

In the off-season, Sýkora was not re-signed by the Penguins and he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2009. Without an NHL contract, Sýkora accepted a tryout with the Minnesota Wild on September 14.[9] Three days later, the Wild signed him to a one-year, $1.6 million contract on September 17.[10] He suffered a concussion early in the 2009–10 season, however, and was sidelined for two months. Through 14 games, he had recorded just three points and was placed on waivers by the Wild on January 19, 2010.[11] On January 28, the Wild announced that Sýkora had cleared unconditional waivers officially making him an unrestricted free agent.

Without an NHL contract, Sýkora returned to Europe, signing with HC Plzeň to start the 2010–11 season. After recording 13 points (5 goals and 7 assists) over 13 games while playing on a line with Martin Straka and Jan Kovář, he signed a tryout contract with Dinamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League on November 11, 2010. Over 28 games in the KHL, he scored 8 goals and 15 points.

On September 12, 2011, it was announced that Sýkora would attend the New Jersey Devils training camp on a tryout, hoping to return to the team that drafted him into the NHL. On October 5, 2011, he signed a one-year contract with the Devils worth $650,000.[12]

On March 2, 2012, Sýkora played in his 1000th career game.

International play[edit]

Petr Sýkora
Medal record
Competitor for  Czech Republic
Ice hockey
World Championships
Bronze 1998 Basel
Gold 1999 Oslo
Gold 2005 Austria

In 2002, Sýkora was selected to play for the Czech Republic in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, where the team placed seventh. Two years later, Sýkora also represented the Czech Republic in the 2004 World Cup. Sýkora has also won three Men's World Ice Hockey Championships medals, one bronze (1998) and two gold medals (1999 and 2005).

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1991–92 Plzeň Jr Czech-Jr. 30 50 50 100
1992–93 HC Lasselsberger Plzeň Czech 19 12 5 17
1993–94 HC Lasselsberger Plzeň CzRep 37 10 16 26 4 0 1 1
1993–94 Cleveland Lumberjacks IHL 13 4 5 9 8
1994–95 Detroit Vipers IHL 29 12 17 29 16
1995–96 Albany River Rats AHL 5 4 1 5 0
1995–96 New Jersey Devils NHL 63 18 24 42 32
1996–97 Albany River Rats AHL 43 20 25 45 48 4 1 4 5 2
1996–97 New Jersey Devils NHL 19 1 2 3 4 2 0 0 0 2
1997–98 Albany River Rats AHL 2 4 1 5 0
1997–98 New Jersey Devils NHL 58 16 20 36 22 2 0 0 0 0
1998–99 New Jersey Devils NHL 80 29 43 72 22 7 3 3 6 4
1999–00 New Jersey Devils NHL 79 25 43 68 26 23 9 8 17 10
2000–01 New Jersey Devils NHL 73 35 46 81 32 25 10 12 22 12
2001–02 New Jersey Devils NHL 73 21 27 48 44 4 0 1 1 0
2002–03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 82 34 25 59 24 21 4 9 13 12
2003–04 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 81 23 29 52 34
2004–05 Metallurg Magnitogorsk RSL 45 18 13 31 44 5 2 3 5 8
2005–06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 34 7 13 20 28
2005–06 New York Rangers NHL 40 16 15 31 22 4 0 0 0 0
2006–07 Edmonton Oilers NHL 82 22 31 53 40
2007–08 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 81 28 35 63 41 20 6 3 9 16
2008–09 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 76 25 21 46 36 7 0 1 1 0
2009–10 Minnesota Wild NHL 14 2 1 3 8
2010–11 HC Plzen Czech 13 5 8 13 14
2010–11 HC Dinamo Minsk KHL 28 8 7 15 58 7 1 1 2 4
2011–12 New Jersey Devils NHL 82 21 23 44 40 18 2 3 5 6
NHL totals 1017 323 398 721 455 133 34 40 74 62

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Petr Sykora Official Player Page". Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  2. ^ "Petr Sykora". NHL Players Association. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  3. ^ "Dreger: Sykora on Crutches, Will Likely Miss Game 7". TSN. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  4. ^ a b Prague Post
  5. ^ "Pittsburgh Penguins marvel at Petr Sykora's called-shot goal". International Herald Tribune. 2008-06-04. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  6. ^ Anderson, Shelly (2008-12-11). "Hat tricks help Penguins snap losing streak". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  7. ^ "Sykora's hat trick lifts Pens over Islanders". MSNBC. 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  8. ^ Molinari, Dave (2009-04-07). "Petr Sykora's 300th career goal blunts Tampa Bay rally from a 4-0 deficit". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  9. ^ "Sykora coming to Minnesota on "tryout"". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  10. ^ "Wild strengthen offence with Sykora". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  11. ^ "Wild put slumping Sykora on waivers". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  12. ^ http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=377451

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Vadim Sharifijanov
New Jersey Devils first round draft pick
1995
Succeeded by
Lance Ward