Tomas over at Lets Go Pens has been occasionally translating interviews for years, long before blogs were in the public eye. He just got one from Petr Sykora that is a real doozy. It's not exactly breaking news that Sykora won't be returning to Pittsburgh but Sykie's comments about head coach Dan Bylsma were pretty raw. It's not surprising that Sykora wouldn't be happy with Bylsma who chose to bench the sniper for most the playoffs. But Sykora made his feelings clear:
As a standard caveat you have the remember this is a portion of a translated interview, so even though the spirit of the message is there, it might not have been 100% as it seems.
Q: Could you continue in Pittsburgh?
A: No. My agent talked to the management, and I won’t be back. When the coach does not want Sykora, nothing can be done.
Q: Could you say what happened between you and coach Bylsma was got you to be scratched?
A: It’s never a good thing when you are coached by a former teammate. On top of that, he used to be a player who drifted around as a fourth-liner. I was younger than him, played on the top line, scored goals, was the little star. Now the roles got reversed, and from the first moment I had a feeling that he let me ‘eat it.’ I honestly say that I have not had liked him even as a teammate. Which does not happen to me often…
Q: Do you regret that there is no way back?
A: Incredibly. I think I had two excellent years there, scored 59 goals [ed. note: that's if you include playoffs, which adds up to 184 games], and persuaded the previous coach Therrien about my qualities. But this is business, nobody cares about feelings. I’m pissed off; but on the other hand, it gives me more fuel to prove they had made a mistake.
Sykora may have scored all those goals but in 22 regular season games under Dan Bylsma, Sykora only scored 4 goals and had 2 assists and was a +/- of -1, despite playing on a surging team and on scoring champion Evgeni Malkin's line. Even though Sykora missed time with a shoulder injury, that's not a way to earn a coach's trust.
Seems like a lot of their heat might be drawing back from the Anaheim days. I'm not sure I buy Sykora's contention that Bylsma was punishing him out of jealously for ice time six years ago...Bylsma was pulling strings to get the team to win, and it obviously worked in the purest sense of the word.
Petr Sykora had a good run in Pittsburgh, highlighted with a Stanley Cup. Shame it comes to an end bitterly. It'll be interesting to see if he catches on with an NHL team. You know he'll be fired up to score a goal or two that night.