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Insider Only Penguins, Sykora hold discussions; Unlikely to make offer before July 1

Team remains interested in 32 year old winger
In a scenario that has caught many NHL Insiders by surprise, the Pittsburgh Penguins have not closed the door on a potential return for winger Petr Sykora.
Penguins General Manager Ray Shero held talks with Allan Walsh the agent for Petr Sykora on Thursday and while talks centered around Ruslan Fedotenko, another client of Walsh, Pittsburgh did express an interest in holding contract talks with Petr Sykora before July 1.
Over the weekend, there has been discussions between the two sides but after going through a two in a half month slump to end the regular season and only appearing in 7 playoff games, Sykora’s market value remains a mystery.
While the two sides will have another discussion or two before Wednesday, sources indicate it is very unlikely that Pittsburgh will make an official offer before July 1.
Both sides are expected to explore their options and see what’s out there.
To return to Pittsburgh, Sykora is willing to take a

discount from his 2008/2009 salary of $2.5 million, in return for a two year deal and a NTC. A NTC has been a common theme in talks with Fedotenko and Guerin.
Inside the Numbers
76 GP – 25 goals – 21 assists – 46 points
Despite interest from Pittsburgh, why a return may not be a good idea
Notes: Was on the verge of a two year deal worth $6.2 million before the trade deadline.
From February 6th – June 9th, Sykora had 5 goals in 33 games.
Only appeared in 5 playoff games and failed to adjust to the Penguins uptempo-style under Dan Bylsma.
Has flourished in conservative systems under Michel Therrien and the trapping systems of the New Jersey Devils.
His lack of skating ability makes him a major question mark to be productive in the Penguins system. Unlikely to get top power play time unless the Penguins strike out in re-signing their key free agents.
Why the Penguins remain interested in Sykora.
Notes: * Team sources indicate a shoulder injury hindered Sykora’s play for the final 3-4 months of the season.
Close relationship to Evgeni Malkin but that is unlikely to play a factor in the Penguins thinking
*25+ goal scorer the past two seasons
More Penguins rumors
As we mentioned on the Penguins free agency chart a few days ago, Pittsburgh has no interest in retaining Miroslav Satan and indicated to Allan Walsh than an offer won’t be made at any time this off-season.
Rumor going around that Dan Bylsma could be announced with John Tortorella as one of the assistant coaches for Team USA in the 2010 Olympics on Monday.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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