Sykora Possibly Not Born to be Wild

A couple of weeks ago, the Wild signing Petr Sykora seemed like a brilliant move. I know I sure loved it.

It’s still a little early to say it’s not working out, but Sykora was a healthy scratch against Nashville last night. That came after getting less than 10 minutes against Chicago Monday night.

Sykora has just one goal in six games this season.

It’s not just Sykora who’s not producing, though. The Wild have only scored 25 goals so far this season, putting them in the bottom third of NHL teams. Only two players have more than two goals. No one on the team seems to be going.

Over in Philadelphia, Simon Gagne is on long-term injury with a hernia injury. Interestingly, the team is calling up Randy Jones, who’ll have to pass through re-entry waivers and plan to have Blair Betts back this weekend. Apparently, the team has no interest in Brendan Shanahan. And the fact that the Flyers now see Jones and Betts as comparables to Gagne and Shanahan tells you just how far the fortunes of both Gagne and Shanahan have fallen.

Speaking of older players, Mike Modano is still interested in playing for the U.S. Olympic team. Step one would be playing in the NHL: Modano’s been out with with a rib injury since the first game of the season. Still, it’s hard to think of USA hockey without thinking of Modano. And I’m not sure it would be horrible to have a more defense-oriented, veteran forward on the team. Just as long as the whole U.S. hockey team isn’t throwback. I don’t need to see Jeremy Roenick trying to launch some kind of comeback on the world stage.

Finally, here is my look at if NHL coaches have an obligation to let their talented, offensive players score as frequently as possible.