From Petr Sykora excited about shot with Devils; Sergei Brylin turns down offer:
Petr Sykora, two months shy of his 35th birthday, knows he is a long shot to earn a spot with the Devils.Patchelly and MartyBrodie from far away!!!!!! I'm also super excited that he's excited to possibly play with Elias again. It seemed like their relationship had cooled for a while. :/ Maybe Marty (Havlat) brought them back together. :P
But the right winger, who was the Devils' first pick (18th overall) in the 1995 NHL entry draft, is thrilled to be invited to training camp to give it his best. Sykora will attend training camp on an unsigned tryout basis.
"I'm very excited I'll get to see Patty (Elias), Marty (Brodeur) and some other people I know there," Sykora told The Star-Ledger in an exclusive interview from the Czech Republic. "Patty and I had some great times together. I'm really excited to see him and if I get a chance to be on the ice with Patty I'd be very excited about that.
"I've been playing for the team here (Plzen) already. I went through a long training camp here. I don't really have a lot of time to come over and adjust to the time difference, but I'm going to get on a plane as soon as possible and come over. There is always a chance I can make it. It's a small chance, but I'm going to work and fight for that small chance. We'll see what happens."
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello also invited Sergei Brylin at attend camp on a tryout basis, but Brylin signed with Metallurg Novokuznetsk in late August to play in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.
"I made the same offer to Sergei. If it didn't work out in Russia for Sergei and he didn't sign, he would've come here," Lamoriello said. "Petr called me. He's with the team in the Czech Republic and he hasn't signed there.
"I haven't seen Petr in a couple of years. We'll have to see him in training camp.
Sykora was a member of the Devils' A Line with Elias and Jason Arnott. He split last season with Plzen in the Czech Republic and Dynamo Minsk in the KHL.
Now he'll get a chance as a long shot to play again for the Devils.
"I'm going to do my best. I'm just going to come to the first practice. Then the second practice and try to improve every day," Sykora said. "I'm going to show up every day. I'm just happy for this small chance, to be a small part of it on this tryout. You never know what can happen."
From Petr Sykora happy to be in a familiar situation with Devils:
Petr Sykora doesn’t know how long he’ll get the chance to be a Devil this time around. It may be a day, it may be a season. But he did know he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come back to the organization.I'm not going to fucking throw my job with Plzen away! Oh, unless the Devils offer me a spot. Then I'm totally fucking throwing that job away! I like that they point out the special love for Patty, hehe.
The 34-year-old winger will participate in the Devils’ training camp on a tryout, and showed up today at the Prudential Center, a day earlier than veterans had to arrive, after spending all of Wednesday traveling.
He last played in the NHL for Minnesota, 14 games during the 2009-10 season, and spent last year playing in Europe. He decided that if he was going to play anywhere in the NHL this season it would be with the Devils, the organization that drafted him 18th overall in 1995 and where he played the first seven years of his career.
“I didn’t look for any other,” he said. “I told my agent I only want to go to New Jersey if there is a chance. That’s the only one I’m going to go to and the chance came up.
“I’m not going to anything new. I started here and I have a lot of friends here. I have a job in Europe and I didn’t want to throw that away. I just said I’m only going to throw that away if I go to New Jersey. All of a sudden the chance came up and I am very happy.”
Sykora was drawn by his comfort with the franchise and that he still has several friends on the team — namely fellow Czech Patrik Elias. Even so, he has no false illusions of what his long-term plans with the club will be. He’s taking it day by day.
“If I’m here one day, great,” Sykora said. “If I’m here two weeks, even better. If I’m here the whole season it’s fantastic.”
“I’m going to show up tomorrow and if I’m invited the next day, I’m going to show up the next day and go from there. I have no plans. I’m just going to try to do my best and we’ll see what happens.”
From Sykora faces uphill battle for 'last chance' with Devils:
Prepared for disappointment, the latest returning Devils star hopes to be pleasantly surprised in probably his last chance to play in the NHL.I love his shot. I love that it's so unexpected. He's this little guy and he looks all non-threatening and then suddenly he unleashes this ridiculous slapshot and it's like WTF???"
They do all come back to Jersey. Petr Sykora launched his comeback bid yesterday with an informal scrimmage with the Devils vets, one way to overcome jet lag, beating today's deadline to officially report.
"It's a chance. It's a chance to come back," the 34-year-old sniper said. "The chance, it might be small, but it's a chance. I'll show up every day and do my best.
"If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. I'll pack my bag and I have a place to play in Europe."
Sykora has an uphill battle to stay in New Jersey.
Usually a winger, he's listed as a center by the Devils, who have a hole to plug in the middle with Travis Zajac shelved by Achilles tendon surgery.
"Right now, I'm just an outside guy here, a guy who maybe will get an exhibition game," said Sykora, who split last year between the Czech league and KHL.
"Patty [Elias] is somewhere else, a top player on this team. I'm just glad to see him around the locker room," Sykora said. "Just to be around here one day, great. Two weeks, even better. A season, fantastic."
Sykora is a 10-time 20-goal scorer, and since the Devils only had two players top 15 last season, that most-valuable of hockey skills would come in handy in Newark.
"A fit with the team? There might be, but there might not be. So I'll take it a day at a time and see what's going to happen," said Sykora, who put 13 away in 41 games in Europe last year.
A concussion ended his last NHL stay with Minnesota in 2009-10, but he scored 25 and 28 in the prior two years with the Penguins. He stands 302-375-677 in 935 regular season games and 32-37-69 in 115 playoff games.
He won the Stanley Cup in 2000 with New Jersey, in the hospital courtesy of a Derian Hatcher burial when A Line-mates Patrik Elias and Jason Arnott combined for the overtime winner. New Jersey's first-rounder in 1995, he led the Devils in scoring in 1998-99, but was traded to Anaheim in 2002. He spent a half-season with the Rangers and played for Edmonton before going to Pittsburgh.
"Everybody knows who I am. I'm not going to go out there, take the D wide and crash the net and score a goal," Sykora said. "Everybody knows I'm not a great skater but I can score goals and I have a good shot. It's not a secret. If I get a good pass, I can score."
Sykora said he only wanted to try New Jersey. "I didn't look for any other [team]. I told my agent I only want to go to New Jersey if there's a chance.
"That's the only one I'm going to go to. And the chance came up. So I jumped on the flight [Wednesday], traveled all day, and now I'm here," Sykora said. "I'm kind of thankful to Lou [Lamoriello] for the career I had. He kind of helped me in the beginning and made me the player I am.
"I have so much respect for Lou that if he calls me up in the middle of the night to come to New Jersey, I fly."
Boy, someone wants to stick.
Anyway, I'm glad that he's being practical about it, and I'm not all that hopeful myself, but I would be super excited if he does make the team. :D
Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PETR!!!