Monday, July 2, 2007

Quiet, Late Night Moves by the Penguins

The Penguins added two veterans to their roster late last night by signing both defenseman Darryl Sydor and right wing Petr Sykora to two-year contracts. Apparently the Penguins were pursuing Paul Kariya and Scott Hannan but did not want to pay either of them more than $ 4 million per year.

It would have been great to see Kariya on Crosby's wing and Hannan would have been huge for the Pens but let's not forget that Sykora started last season on a tear playing for a team for whom a two-goal night was an offensive explosion. He scored 25 points in the first 24 games and despite a tough stretch where the Oilers lost 12 games in a row he was able to finish with 53 points in 74 games. While this is a far cry from his previous best of 81 points in 73 games back in 2000 with the Devils, it showed that he still has something left in the tank. Sykora is also a pretty consistent scorer who has only failed to score 50 points once in the last 8 years. The Penguins have been looking for someone to play the wing with Crosby and it looks like they may have found their man. At worst he'll play with Malkin which means it could mean a huge year for Sykora.

I watched Darryl Sydor play for years in Dallas and while he's not a dominating defenseman he is a solid, veteran player for the Penguins blueline. The two-time All Star (1998, 1999) generally plays a lot of games every season and has the lungs to put up over 20 minutes per night. He should help stabilize what has, at times, been a shaky defensive core.

No comments: