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Sykora receives training camp invite

Member of Devils' 2000 Cup win returns for tryout

Tuesday, 09.13.2011 / 10:50 AM / News
By Eric Marin
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Sykora receives training camp invite
Sykora collected 145 goals and 205 assists in 445 games with the Devils from 1995-96 to 2001-02. (NHL/GETTY IMAGES)
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The name is a blast from past, remembered most for contributions on the famed "A Line." But in just a few days, Petr Sykora will give it another shot in New Jersey.

It was announced Monday that the former Devil, who was a member of the 2000 Stanley Cup championship team, will attend training camp as a tryout when veterans hit the ice on Saturday.

Sykora, 34, is one of five free-agent tryouts, along with Steve Bernier, Anton Stralman, J.T. Barnett and Thomas Nesbitt.

Together with Patrik Elias and Jason Arnott, Sykora helped to form one of the most dynamic trios in club history. After seven seasons in New Jersey, Sykora was shipped to Anaheim in 2002. The Mighty Ducks reached the Finals the next year, losing to the Devils in seven games.

He split last season between the Czech League and the KHL, scoring five goals and eight assists in 13 games with his hometown club Plzen HC, and eight goals, eight assists in 28 games with Minsk Dynamo (KHL). A concussion limited him to 14 games with Minnesota in 2009-10, when he posted two goals and an assist for the Wild.

Sykora was a part of Pittsburgh’s back-to-back trips to the Finals, coming up short against Detroit in 2008 before beating them the next year. Selected 18th overall in 1995, he has 302 goals, 375 assists for 677 points in 935 NHL games.

Stralman, 25, is set to enter his fifth NHL season after spending the last two with Columbus. The 6-2, 195-lb. defenseman notched a goal and 17 assists in 51 games with the Blue Jackets last year. That followed a career-best 34 points on six goals, 28 assists in 2009-10.

A right-handed shot, Stralman’s first two seasons came with Toronto, the club that drafted him in the seventh round, 216th overall, in 2005. He’s a native of Tibro, Sweden.

Bernier, 26, is a familiar face to Devils head coach Pete DeBoer, who had the right winger in Florida last season. Another former first rounder, the 6-2, 215-lb. native of Quebec City was selected 16th overall in 2003 by San Jose. In six seasons, he’s tallied 15 or more goals three times and has twice reached a career-high 32 points.

Barnett, 19, has three seasons of Western Hockey League experience. He notched a career-high 43 points (13g-30a) last year with Kamloops. Born in Scottsdale, Ariz., the left wing measures in at 6-1, 190. He's the son of Mike Barnett, Senior Advisor to the President and General Manager and Director of U.S. Amateur Scouting for the New York Rangers.

Nesbitt, 21, has spent five seasons with Ottawa (OHL), and has topped 30 goals in the last two campaigns. The 5-11, 185-lb. right wing hails from Stittsville, Ontario.
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