Former Devil Petr Sykora Signs With SC Bern In NLA

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Petr Sykora has signed a contract with SC Bern in Switzerland. Yes, this is the former NHL player and not in fact the one that has spent the last few seasons already playing in the NLA.

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.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.

Sýkora’s offensive production dropped to just 48 points two years later, 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. After the lockout, he was traded to the New York Rangers, and would later win the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2008-2009 finals. 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. Three days later, the Wild signed him to a one-year, $1.6 million contract on September 17.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. On January 28, the Wild announced that Sýkora had cleared unconditional waivers officially making him an unrestricted free agent.

Last year, the Devils signed Sykora to a one year deal, worth $650K. For an aging player, his 44 points in 82 games was an impressive effort, however the Devils decided to not bring him back for the 2012-2013 campaign.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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