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Welcome to The Real DFG's Pittsburgh Penguin Autograph Project. My goal is to eventually try and get at least one autograph of every player to lace up the skates in an NHL game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. It could have been for one game or 700 games, I will add them. Occasionally I may post cards of former players in their new team uniforms. While the goal is to get autos in Pens uni's, it isn't always possible. Since the team has been in existence since 1967, the list is pretty large. Last I checked, it was somewhere in the range of 624 different players. Currently, I sit at about 100 autographs (with some duplication). Enjoy the posts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Petr Sykora

Sykora was one of those guys that always brought something to the table when he stepped on the ice.  He had great scoring capabilities, great hands, and wasn't afraid to get dirty if he had to.

He was drafted by the Devils 18th overall in the 1995 draft and immediately made an impact on the team.  He put up 42 points his rookie season and by year four, he was one of the top scorers.  He played on the A-Line along with Patrik Elias and Jason Arnott, the line that catapulted the Devils to the Stanley Cup finals in back to back seasons, emerging victorious in 1999-00.

In 2002-03, he was traded to the Ducks after his offensive production began to slip.  He again played for the Cup by helping Anaheim reach the finals that year.  After the lockout, he was traded to the Rangers where he only played one season.  He was signed by the Edmonton Oilers for the following year, putting up 53 points.

He made his way to Pittsburgh in July 2007 after signed as an UFA.  He was first put on the line with Sidney Crosby but later found a home alongside Evgeni Malkin.  He had his best season since 2000-01 with 63 points.  For the fourth time, he got to play in the Stanley Cup finals against Wings.

The next season, his play time was diminished significantly by the time post-season rolled around, due to the Pens acquiring Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz at the trade deadline.  But he did get to play, briefly, in the Stanley Cup finals and, despite a badly injured foot, he hoisted the Cup for the first time on the ice (since he was injured when the Devils won).  As a UFA again that summer, he was picked up by the Minnesota Wild but would only play 14 games before going to play in Europe.

Having waited long enough for a new NHL deal that didn't come and having not played in Europe since 2012-13, he hung up the skates in March 2014 and retired from whence he came, as a New Jersey Devil.

This card comes from the 2008-09 Be A Player set.  It is a sticker auto and is signed in black ink.  Sykora uses his uniform number in his signature...yes, that's a 17 not a fish hook.

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