Petr Sykora Won't Return to Pittsburgh, But Not Because of Salary Cap

WoooooSenior Writer IJuly 17, 2009

DETROIT - JUNE 12: Petr Sykora #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins holds the Stanley Cup following the Penguins victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game Seven of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Petr Gunn didn't have much of an opportunity to live up to his nickname during the Stanley Cup playoffs this season. Lately, though, Sykie has been living up to it in a different way: with his mouth rather than his stick.

In an interview with a Czech newspaper, Sykora told reporters that not only would he not be back in Pittsburgh for another season, but that his relationship with Disco Dan Bylsma has never been good.

"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."

A lot of people suspected that Sykora would not return to the Penguins for another season simply because of salary cap issues.

It's highly unlikely that anyone outside of the Penguins' organization saw something like this coming, though.

If you remember, Sykora went public about his distaste for former Head Coach Michel Therrien's bench management earlier in the 2009 season, saying that it was nearly impossible to be productive while playing with different line mates on every shift.

So how does Petr Gunn feel about his imminent departure from the City of Champions?

"I think I had two excellent years there, scored 59 goals 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."

Sykie went on to say that he feels he has two to three years of NHL caliber hockey left in him. He then pretty much guaranteed that he can still score 25-30 goals a year.

Sykora had a good run with the Pens.

The 2008 Pens' second line of Sykora-Evgeni Malkin-Ryan Malone was the best line in hockey for the biggest part of the season.

His overtime goal in Game Five of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals will likely go down as one of the biggest goals of his life.

Sykie will likely be signed to a relatively short-term deal by a team with a sufficient amount of cap space in the coming weeks.

It should be interesting to see how the Mellon faithful welcome Sykora back to the Igloo, next season.

Let's just hope for his sake that he doesn't end up in Washington or Philadelphia.

Let's Go Pens!