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Colin226

Petr Sykora Announces His Retirement

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This is why the Devils should really have a ring of fire. Amazing player for us and while not worthy of having a jersey retired he does deserve a night so we can thank him.

 

someone should pitch that idea to the devils. i forgot who the member here was that meets with devils reps

 

sykora, brylin, mckay...etc

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Sykora was my favorite Devil for a long time.  Hence the "17" in my username.  I was ecstatic when he came back for tryouts and returned to the team for a year or two.  Will miss him but will remember his contributions to the team for sure.  Good luck in retirement Petr!

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Best wishes Sykora, thanks for the memoirs.

 

Did you read his book or something?  :P

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Not everyone's made to be a two way player. Even when Kovy 'tried' to play defense and learn how to backcheck better, the results were mixed at best so no I don't imagine Syk would have been much better had he adopted a two way mindset. He lasted 15 years in the league and won two Cups, that's a pretty good career.

 

It's funny...I think Sykora is one of those guys who will always have "What if?" attached to him, especially among Devils fans.  I think a fair number of fans feel he could've been more than he was...some significantly so. 

 

For a guy whose career ended relatively early (he was only 35, and he did even play in the NHL in 2010-11), he put up good numbers:  1017 GP (no small feat), 721 pts.  I'm speculating, but I think he probably wishes he had worked a little harder at times, especially as a Devil, but even if he didn't get every last bit of performance out of his talent, how much better should he really have been?  I definitely don't think "underachiever" when I look back on his career. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Did you read his book or something?  :P

Did you read his book or something?  :P

Do you know what your talking about? Because I don't

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Do you know what your talking about? Because I don't

 

LD, don't get me wrong, cause I actually love having you around here.

 

 

 

CR, I think you state it nicely with your post. Sykora can't be labeled an underachiever - he did what he was good at, played 15 years and had 700 points. That's a successful career. And at the same time, the 'what if' debate definitely has validity insofar as his work ethic and development in his first stint with the Devils. I know that I will always wonder what could have been for Elias had Sykora been there through the years. IMO Elias underachieved offensively many times because he didn't have a capable linemate.

Edited by Neb00rs

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Elias also had incredibly bad shooting luck in Years 1 and 2 of his 7-year deal...so much so I think it really screwed with his head...you could really see the frustration mounting.  I think that 4-goals-in-42 games stretch was really hard on him. 

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It's funny...I think Sykora is one of those guys who will always have "What if?" attached to him, especially among Devils fans.  I think a fair number of fans feel he could've been more than he was...some significantly so. 

 

For a guy whose career ended relatively early (he was only 35, and he did even play in the NHL in 2010-11), he put up good numbers:  1017 GP (no small feat), 721 pts.  I'm speculating, but I think he probably wishes he had worked a little harder at times, especially as a Devil, but even if he didn't get every last bit of performance out of his talent, how much better should he really have been?  I definitely don't think "underachiever" when I look back on his career. 

 

This doesn't make much sense to me.  Sykora was thought to be better than Elias - I know I certainly thought so in 1999, even though Elias was older.  Then Elias surged ahead and has become a Hall of Famer whereas Sykora was a guy who bounced around a lot - he still scored just about everywhere he went, but that was what he did.  I don't think there was a superstar player inside Sykora - he was fast but not blazing, his shot was great but not Hull-esque, and he wasn't big enough to win pucks in the corners consistently.  He had a solid NHL career - he retires at 166 on the All-Time goals scored list.

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This doesn't make much sense to me.  Sykora was thought to be better than Elias - I know I certainly thought so in 1999, even though Elias was older.  Then Elias surged ahead and has become a Hall of Famer whereas Sykora was a guy who bounced around a lot - he still scored just about everywhere he went, but that was what he did.  I don't think there was a superstar player inside Sykora - he was fast but not blazing, his shot was great but not Hull-esque, and he wasn't big enough to win pucks in the corners consistently.  He had a solid NHL career - he retires at 166 on the All-Time goals scored list.

 

What doesn't make much sense to you?  I'm basically agreeing with you.  I think Sykora pretty much was what he was.  I think there are definitely Devils fans who think he could've (or should've) been better though...maybe not a superstar, but maybe thought he could've had more 30-goal seasons, more points, etc.   

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Elias also had incredibly bad shooting luck in Years 1 and 2 of his 7-year deal...so much so I think it really screwed with his head...you could really see the frustration mounting.  I think that 4-goals-in-42 games stretch was really hard on him. 

 

For me the years that make me wonder 'what if' are '02 and '03 when Elias faced a 33% drop in points from his 96 in '01. Sykora was there in '02 but not playing at nearly the level he was the previous years. After Elias put up 96, you just had that feeling like this was going to be a long-term thing, like 100 points was inevitable. 

 

Then Gomez picked up the slack for a few years but then we get to the years you mention: '07 and '08. When Elias came back from hepatitis in '06 he was a scoring machine. But he merely repeated '02 and '03 with a downward spike in point production the following 2 years.

 

Both periods were so frustrating because you knew that Elias could produce so much more - (at least that was my view of it).

 

After Sykora left, things have just been unstable for Elias - coaches, linemates, position switches, etc...

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A-line had become a home-ice wonder in 2001-02:

 

Elias:  44 pts in 39 home games, 17 pts in 36 road games

Arnott:  36 pts in 39 home, 9 pts (?!) in 38 away

Sykora:  33 pts in 37 home, 15 pts in 36 away

 

I honestly don't remember what the reasons were for why the anomaly was so pronounced, but I do remember Lou worrying that other Devils players kept waiting for the A-line to win games for them.  Losing Mogilny's 43 goals also hurt.  Lou was clearly hoping Dagenais would help to offset that...he was coming off a couple of pretty good AHL seasons at the time, and Lou was getting used to bringing guys up and having them succeed. 

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I know Larry Brooks wrote a column about their home/road splits in 02 - it's hard for me to do anything but write it off as a fluke, as the shot rates really aren't dissimilar.   Now whether the line had grown stale and entitled, I could certainly see that happening, and it's not like NJ didn't get fair return for Arnott, but I wonder if expectations were too high for that line.

 

76, I was taking issue with the Devils fans who consider Sykora some case of wasted potential - guy had a very solid NHL career.  Offense first players who aren't dominant don't tend to last into their late 30s without a measure of craftiness (Ray Whitney, etc.) - plus Sykora had his share of injuries in his career.

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A-line had become a home-ice wonder in 2001-02:

 

Elias:  44 pts in 39 home games, 17 pts in 36 road games

Arnott:  36 pts in 39 home, 9 pts (?!) in 38 away

Sykora:  33 pts in 37 home, 15 pts in 36 away

 

I honestly don't remember what the reasons were for why the anomaly was so pronounced, but I do remember Lou worrying that other Devils players kept waiting for the A-line to win games for them.  Losing Mogilny's 43 goals also hurt.  Lou was clearly hoping Dagenais would help to offset that...he was coming off a couple of pretty good AHL seasons at the time, and Lou was getting used to bringing guys up and having them succeed. 

 

Wow. Excellent stuff. I don't remember this being discussed back then but I suppose it's not enough to keep them all on the team.

 

Still, Sykora and Elias had something...and it might have been more.

Edited by Neb00rs

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I know Larry Brooks wrote a column about their home/road splits in 02 - it's hard for me to do anything but write it off as a fluke, as the shot rates really aren't dissimilar.   Now whether the line had grown stale and entitled, I could certainly see that happening, and it's not like NJ didn't get fair return for Arnott, but I wonder if expectations were too high for that line.

 

76, I was taking issue with the Devils fans who consider Sykora some case of wasted potential - guy had a very solid NHL career.  Offense first players who aren't dominant don't tend to last into their late 30s without a measure of craftiness (Ray Whitney, etc.) - plus Sykora had his share of injuries in his career.

 

When I think of guys who had potential but blew it, I think of Merlin Malinowski-types.  By his own admission, he basically said he didn't work nearly hard enough when he was younger and was first drafted into the NHL (he had basically played very well at every other level), partly because he had never really had to.  He was out of the NHL by the time he was 24 and never got another shot, though he enjoyed a nice career in the Swiss leagues.  But he had a lot of talent...he should've been in the NHL for a lot longer than 282 games (probably didn't help that Lanny McDonald, a guy he had some chemistry with, had been dealt early in the season following Malinowski's breakout year).   

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Thanks Petr for making those winning years such a joy to be a Devils fan......STH from 92--2004.....I saw the best of the best.

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