Saturday, July 01, 2006

Petr Sykora

Well the UFA feeding frenzy has started. For anyone who isn't already following the action at Battle of Alberta, I would recommend it. Andy Grabia is doing a terrific job with this from an Oiler fan's point of view.

I just thought I'd throw Petr Sykora's name up for discussion. Interesting player, and at the time I write this he is an unsigned UFA.

His stock has certainly fallen since he left New Jersey, and I have watched very few games that he has played in since. Pretty much just the games in which he played against the Oilers. Hopefully somebody saw more of him in Anaheim or NYR games this year and can add some opinion to this. By the results that the NHL publishes, there are a couple of curious things about the guy.

* He hit a stupid number of goalposts and crossbars last season, and carried that on into the playoffs where he hit three more. A grand total of 15 by memory. That's just nuts, surely the hockey gods will be kinder to him next season.

I was doing that "tough minutes" metric as per the post below, and it's piss easy to fart around and look at things from different angles just by tweaking the code. So I looked at
the opposition quality for a player's +'s and for their -'s separately. Not surprisingly every bugger got their +'s against an overall weaker group of opposition.

A rare exception was Sykora in 03/04. Who actually got better results against better opposition, which is upside down of course. I guess if you get enough guys rolling the dice somebody is going to roll a crazy stretch of sevens and a few other cats are going to get nasty stretches of snake eyes. Or maybe there was some crazy sort of line shuffling combined with injury, I dunno.

The point here is that while salary is based largely on recent performance ... Sykora just may be a good bet to exceed expectations in the 06/07 season, no matter where he is playing.

Now I don't know the guy. He may not want to play here. He may be a wife beater with a raging cocaine habit, he may be a prince, I dunno. And that matters too. I think that the Oilers have enough character on this roster that they could handle a couple of characters being added anyways.

So. Petr Sykora! Are ya with me?


Blogger Chris said...

I'm with you if we can afford to sign him at a reasonable price. I'm less than optomistic about our capacity to take on salary and resign our restricted free agents and Spaceck or a Spaceck replacement.

7/02/2006 6:06 am  
Anonymous oilswell said...

Well with Elias off the market, the "team depth" strategy to retooling this year seems to win almost by default. But still need a good PP. Sykora would fit nicely in the depth/PP strategy. The issue is money.

He made 3.16 mil last season according to HockeyZone Plus. If he can be had for something within a mil of Fernando Trump's 2.5 I certainly wouldn't be one to cringe at the announcement.

7/02/2006 9:51 am  
Blogger RiversQ said...

I was really hoping the Oilers would pick up Sykora early in the year when Burke was having cap problems in Anaheim. So I'm on board with that one.

His PP numbers aren't outstanding (partially because of the NJ years and a crummy ANA year) but he is a shooter and possibly a forward who can play the point. The Oilers probably needed that already before the Pronger mess.

Vic: He shot 10.0% last year. His career average before that was 11.6%. I'm not so sure the posts made all that much difference.

7/02/2006 2:59 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Vic: Just kicked this around with Dennis and I think you'll like it.

Jan Bulis is a UFA.

He could play centre on this club.

7/02/2006 10:25 pm  
Anonymous Doogie2K said...

Bulis had talent, but he underperformed enough that Gainey soured on him, four-goal game notwithstanding. That being said, 20 goals is never a bad way to underperform, assuming expectations are low (i.e. <= $2M).

7/03/2006 12:33 pm  

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