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Devils Alley: Petr Sykora Playing Like It's 1999

Sykora Petr Sykora, who won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2000, is playing his way up the team's depth chart and making a strong impact in the team's preseason camp.

According to reports coming out of Devils practice, Sykora skated with one of the team's top lines, including Patrik Elias and Zach Parise, and is continuing to impress first year head coach Peter DeBoer.

"Petr's come in and created some offense and really hasn't had an opprotunity to play with some of the elite guys yet," DeBoer told Devils.com. "I thought it was the right thing to do."

Sykora was originally brought in to compete for a fourth line job or a minor league deal. However, he has played well in training camp this year, including a hat trick in last week's scrimmage, and has moved up the Devils depth chart throughout the week.

It would be intriguing to add Sykora to the Elias / Parise line considering the Devils 2000 Stanley Cup team. Back then, Elias and Sykora led one of the league's best front lines and helped the Devils win their third championship. Their chemistry alone could lead to great things eleven years later.

"Chemistry is a big thing, and we've always had that," Elias told Devils.com.

Sykora is also another scorer that the Devils desperately need. Despite not playing in 2010, Sykora has posted at least 20 goals in 10 seasons, and he could potentially replace the loss of long time Devil Brian Rolston, who is now on the Islanders.

Last season, The Devils only had two players with more then 20 goals (Kovalchuk and Elias) and the team ranked last in the NHL with only 2.08 goals per game. To make matters worse, the team lost Rolston (14 goals) and Jason Arnott (13 goals) to trades and Travis Zajac (13 goals) to injury. Adding Sykora to the Parise / Elias line could not only add a consistent goal scorer but also open up the ice for the some of the Devils top players.

Sykora survived the first round of cuts last week, but the preseason still has another week left before the start of the regular season.

"Playing with them felt good," Sykora told Devils.com. "I'm going to do whatever's in my power to stay here as long as I can."

 

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