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New Jersey digs deep, offer tryouts to former star Petr Sykora and others

Sep 12, 2011, 8:07 PM EST

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Training camp opens up at the end of the week and the New Jersey Devils are offering up tryouts to a few NHL veterans and youngsters including one who made a name for himself in New Jersey in the 90s. The Devils are offering tryouts to five players and the lead name there is Petr Sykora.

Sykora spent last season playing for HC Plzen in the Czech league as well as Dynamo Minsk in the KHL but got his start in the NHL back in 1995 with the Devils. Sykora spent seven seasons in New Jersey and helped the Devils win the Stanley Cup in 2000 playing on the same line with Jason Arnott and Patrik Elias. Sykora has played 14 seasons in all in the NHL and won a second Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009.

Through his career, Sykora has been a consistent 20-25 goal scorer but his final season in Minnesota saw him struggle to get ice time when he could play and was knocked out for most of the 2009-2010 season with a concussion. In Europe last season, Sykora scored 13 points in 13 games with HC Plzen and had 16 points in 28 games with Minsk. What he could contribute at the NHL level remains to be seen in Devils camp.

The Devils also offered tryouts to former Blue Jackets defenseman Anton Stralman, former Panthers and Canucks forward Steve Bernier, and to minor leaguers Thomas Nesbitt and Justin Barnett. Stralman is more of an offensive defenseman and isn’t exactly a physical force on the ice while Bernier is more of a defensive forward than a scorer these days. Bernier could fit in to the Devils system while it would be stunning to see Stralman able to land a job in New Jersey.

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