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Born November 19, 1976 (1976-11-19) (age 33),
Plzen, CS
Height
Weight
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Right wing
Shoots Left
NHL team
F. teams
Minnesota Wild
New Jersey Devils
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
New York Rangers
Edmonton Oilers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Ntl. team  Czech Republic
NHL Draft 18th overall, 1995
New Jersey Devils
Career 1992 – present

Petr Sýkora (born November 19, 1976 in Plzen, Czechoslovakia) is a professional ice hockey right winger, who is currently playing for the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL). Sykora has previously played for the New Jersey Devils, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion, having won with the Devils in 2000 and the Penguins in 2009.

Contents

Playing career

Before being drafted, Sykora spent several seasons in the Czechoslovak Extraliga and the International Hockey League (IHL). As a Cleveland Lumberjack, Sykora became the youngest player ever to play in the IHL at 17 years and 71 days.[1]

In the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, Sykora was drafted in the first round, 18th overall, by the New Jersey Devils. Among that draft class, only Jarome Iginla has scored more points. Sykora 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, Sykora 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 Elias, wore Sykora's jersey for him.[3]. The next season, Sykora 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, Sykora recorded career highs with 35 goals, 46 assists and 81 points.

However, the next season, Sykora'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, Sykora 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 quarter finals against the Dallas Stars.

While the 2004–05 NHL lockout was in effect, Sykora played for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League, scoring 31 points in 45 games. As NHL play resumed in 2005–06, Sykora requested to be traded from Anaheim and on January 9, 2006, the New York Rangers acquired Sykora 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 Sykora 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, Sykora maintained the previous few seasons' scoring output and managed 53 points.

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

Reaching the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings, Sykora scored a double-overtime goal on the powerplay in game five after previously telling on-ice reporter Pierre McGuire he would score the game-winner.[4] With the Penguins down 3-1 in the series, Sykora'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 Sykora's fourth time playing in a Stanley Cup final.

The following season, on December 11, 2008, Sykora 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.[5] Sykora 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.[6] Later that season, on April 7, 2009, Sykora scored his 300th career NHL goal in a 6-4 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning.[7] The Penguins made it to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Red Wings for the second straight season in 2009, winning their third franchise championship in seven games. The win marked Sykora's second Stanley Cup championship; however, with the late-season acquisitions of Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz to play in the top-six forward positions, Sykora was a regular healthy scratch during the Penguins' playoff run, playing in just seven games.

In the off-season, Sykora was not re-signed by the Penguins and he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2009. Without an NHL contract, Sykora accepted a tryout with the Minnesota Wild on September 14.[8] Three days later, the Wild signed him to a one-year, $1.6 million contract on September 17.[9]

International play

Medal record
Competitor for  Czech Republic
Ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 2005 Austria

In 2002, Sykora was selected to play for the Czech Republic in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, where the team placed fourth. Two years later, Sykora also represented the Czech Republic in the 2004 World Cup. However, his greatest achievement on an international level came the following year during the 2005 World Championships, in which Sykora helped lead the Czechs to the finals to play Team Canada. The Czechs beat Canada 3-0, marking Sykora's first gold medal in an international tournament.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1991–92 Plzen Jr Czech-Jr. 30 50 50 100
1992–93 HC Lasselsberger Plzen Czech 19 12 5 17
1993–94 HC Lasselsberger Plzen 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
NHL totals 921 300 374 674 407 115 32 37 69 56

References

  1. ^ "Petr Sykora Official Player Page". http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app?page=PlayerDetail&playerId=8460465&service=page&tab=bio. Retrieved 2008-05-09.  
  2. ^ "Petr Sykora". NHL Players Association. http://www.nhlpa.com/WebStats/PlayerBiography.asp?ID=5514. Retrieved 2008-05-09.  
  3. ^ "Dreger: Sykora on Crutches, Will Likely Miss Game 7". TSN. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=281457. Retrieved 2009-06-10.  
  4. ^ "Pittsburgh Penguins marvel at Petr Sykora's called-shot goal". International Herald Tribune. 2008-06-04. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/06/03/sports/NA-SPT-HKN-NHL-Stanley-Cup-Sykora.php. Retrieved 2008-06-04.  
  5. ^ "Hat tricks help Penguins snap losing streak". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2008-12-11. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08346/934698-100.stm. Retrieved 2008-12-12.  
  6. ^ "Sykora's hat trick lifts Pens over Islanders". MSNBC. 2008-12-11. http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/28185544/. Retrieved 2008-12-12.  
  7. ^ "Petr Sykora's 300th career goal blunts Tampa Bay rally from a 4-0 deficit". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2009-04-07. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09098/961312-61.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-08.  
  8. ^ "Sykora coming to Minnesota on “tryout”". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. 2009-09-14. http://blogs2.startribune.com/blogs/wildblog/2009/09/14/sykora-coming-to-minnesota-on-tryout/#comment-217220. Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
  9. ^ "Wild strengthen offence with Sykora". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-09-17. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2009/09/17/sp-sykora-wild-contract.html. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  

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