We are approaching the beginning of August and I can’t help but wonder, are the Devils through with off-season moves? The big names out there are all gone, however, there are still solid contributors available that I would love to have be apart of Jersey’s Team. Former Devil, Petr Sykora, really sticks out in my mind as a potential addition. He knows the team, has a good relationship with Patrick Elias who he has worked very well with in the past.
Sykora may not have been a good fit on the Penguins, but with all due respect to Petr, that team was loaded and really had no slot for him. In the playoffs, he played poorly and other players were inserted into his spot that outperformed him. I would not expect this to be a sign of the times for him though. He still had 20+ goals last year and has only had one season in which he did not reach the 20 goal mark. That was back in the 97-98 season with the Devils, he had 16 goals and 20 assists in 58 games. Ever since then he has been a solid contributor to the teams he has been on. Although he has not been a fantastic goal scorer, he would make a great addition to any team’s third line. Some knocks on him would be that his defense has never been anything to smile about, but he makes up for it on the other end, plus he is a strong skater.
I would love it if the Devils made a play at Sykora to bolster their third line and add some depth to this new look team. Will they? That is the question that is always so difficult to answer when it comes to this team. In all my years being a follower of this franchise, I have never been able to figure out what they are going to do as far as their roster goes. Will they re-sign a guy? Will they go after a guy that is out there that can help a weakness of theirs? Will they add depth to their secondary lines? Who knows. Lou Lamoreillo has never shown his hand in what he plans to do with the Devils.
The fact of the matter is this, there are guys out there that are still available and can improve the team we currently have. The Atlantic Division has become even better this off-season, as I have said before, and although I feel like the Devils can keep up with their division rivals, we still need some extra help. Petr Sykora can be that extra help for New Jersey. In 921 regular season NHL games played, Sykora has compiled a total of 300 goals, 374 assists with 674 total points. In the playoffs he has performed very well, with 32 goals and 37 assists in 115 playoff games and only 56 total penalty minutes. We need this guy back to make our lesser lines more, as well as add a leader to those lines.
I will be back soon to discuss who else may help the Devils as we make our way towards Opening Night.