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Sykora wants NHL job, might be forced to stay in Europe

Sep 25, 2012, 10:53 PM EDT

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Petr Sykora Getty Images

Petr Sykora’s return to the NHL last season might turn into a short stay thanks to the lockout.

The Devils’ winger tells Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice that he’d love to play in the NHL this year, but may have to stay in Europe.

“I’ve got no guarantees here,” Sykora said today from the Czech Republic. “I have no contract here, so if I find the right place to play and most importantly for family and for my son to go to a U.S. school in Europe, then I’m probably going to stay here the whole season.”

This is the tough spot unsigned players have. If they sign a deal in Europe, there’s a good possibility they’ll have to stay there for the entire season. Most players that have already landed in foreign leagues are already under contract with an NHL team.

Guys like Sykora don’t have that option, meaning they’d have to wait long enough to see if there will even be an NHL season before deciding to go to Europe. Sykora says he wants to be playing before Christmas so he’ll be sweating it out until then hoping a new CBA can be done.

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