Should Maple Leafs Take A Flyer on Petr Sykora?

I am going to admit bias here. I am a Petr Sykora fan. I had the good fortune to spend some time with him when he first came to the IHL. He was a good guy then and I really liked him. I was bitterly pissed at Cliff Fletcher when he picked Jeff Ware over him in the draft that year. He went to New Jersey and won a cup there and most recently he won a cup in Pittsburgh. It is all over the net tonight that he is done in Pittsburgh. You know where I am headed here right?

Petr made 2.5 million last year. In this market and at his age and with his injuries, he would have to take a major haircut. He will likely be able to get more money in the KHL.

So, before I make a total ass of myself, let’s say that he could be had on the cheap. Is he worth signing in Toronto?

Arguments against:

New Pens coach Dan Blysma had Sykora for 22 games, he socred 4 goals and 2 assists.
He is 33 and would take ice time from younger guys
He has been injured
He isn’t truculent

Arguments for:
He’s won cups
Every season in which he played 80 games, he scored over 20 goals
He scored 25 goals last year
I like him as a player and a person

So? How nucking futs am I? The Leafs need help upfront. They need guys who can score. Is it worth signing a guy (to a minimum deal in terms of money and term), given his injuries? This isn’t a rumour, I haven’t heard it anywhere, I am just suggesting/asking it. I don’t have the answer, but I am sure you do, If Burke can’t acquire guys who can score for the upcoming year, and Sykora isn’t to your liking, who do you want?

As an aside, if you wonder how things are in the economy in Toronto, a friend put his name on the Leafs waiting list for seasons tickets, thinking that maybe one day his kids would get a call. He got one today that Leafs seasons tickets are available to him. He has 48 hours to decide if he wants them. So, despite what Gary Pinocchio says, things are rough all over!

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July 17, 2009 10:07 am

I like Sykora too, but honestly I don’t know if he’s worth the signing. He dissapeared for lengths last season with Pittsburgh, I mean he was in the press box for most of the playoffs, played all of 7 games with 1 point, 1 measly assist!! And look at the roster they had, loaded with top talent and he couldn’t produce? I think it says enough that he only played 7 entire games for the duration of the playoffs, the writing is on the wall there. No I like Sykora but I like Sykora like 3-4 years ago.

Now, your next question was who do I want then? I would be alright with some of these names from who is left available starting at the top with most wanted:

LW – Alex Tanguay – Age 29
RW – Maxim Afinogenov – Age 29
RW – Michelle Ouellet – Age 27
LW – Taylor Pyatt – Age 27

Notice the ages…

Honestly, the only guy over 30 I would even consider, just because I think he is still a great leader and would be excellent around our young guys is the 40 yr old Brendan Shanahan who apparently still wants to play. I’d sign him to a bonus filled contract (games played, points, playoffs etc.) to keep him motivated but I’d take a flyer on him regardless.

July 17, 2009 4:15 pm


July 19, 2009 11:56 pm

Sure, why not. Playoffs!!1

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