Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sykora Wants To Stay, But Is He Welcome?

Even with the Oilers out of the playoff picture a year after reaching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final and mired in the throes an eight-game losing streak, Sykora isn't counting the days until July 1 when he becomes an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team in the league. He says he wants to stay.

"I like it here," Sykora said Wednesday. "The first 40 games, when we had a healthy lineup, that was the best time I've had in hockey in a long time. I'm playing with players who suit me and playing the kind of hockey that suits me."


I wouldn't want to be in Kevin Lowe's shoes when this summer rolls around. On the surface, it seems to be an easy choice to resign Sykora. He has produced at a pretty good clip this year, and if he wants to return for around 3M, resigning him seems like a no brainer. However, as outlined in the post below, Lowe has approximately 8M to spend on 2F, 2D and 1G. If indeed Lowe does want to bring in a big name FA, it is unlikely that there will be 3M dollars to spare in the budget. The only other option would be to move a roster forward to free up budget space. Of the possible forwards (Lupul, Pisani, Moreau, Stoll, Torres), only Lupul seems to make sense. Unfortunately, his value is so low that a trade would pretty much be a salary dump, and I just don't think dealing him under those circumstances constitutes good asset management.

Personally, I'd let Sykora walk and use the money to patch up the blue line.


Black Dog said...

Sykora is so damn streaky and seems to need to be attached to Hemsky so I'm not sure if he's someone we want. Not like he's been setting the world on fire this past couple of months when some goals would have been nice.

As for Lupul - I'd dump him, even for a pick. They won't do it and I'm sure if they move him he'll pot 25 next year.

But he's sucking up 2.3M in cap space. That covers your raises for Moreau and Staios right there. Or that's a raise for Hejda and Smith for that matter.

Alana said...

I like Sykora. I'd keep him over Lupul anyday.

Achtungbaby said...

Um, don't you think we should at least look at Lupul for one more season before we give him the bum's rush over an aging Sykora?

He's still young, even Joe Thornton wasn't all that great in his first few seasons.

Scarlett said...

Lupul is not going anywhere for at least another season. He gets another chance.

As for Sykora, I'm torn. He actually wants to stay, but he's been so streaky and his money could be put to better use (hello defense). I'll be curious if Lowe even makes him an offer. He'll have to take a pay cut, or I would hope so.

Kyle said...

I'm not really interested in Sykora. He's streaky at the best of times and totally useless in the worst. I'd rather have Toby and a real 1st liner.

Vic Ferrari said...


I dunno, to my mind Joe Thornton is a very poor comparable for Joffrey Lupul, in every way.


I like Sykora. He's a better overall player than I thought he was, though I hoped they use him on the left point of the PP more with Hemsky on the same side.

He's really small though, saw him in street clothes a little while ago. If his hair wasn't so coiffed he could pass for a teenager I think.