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06-25-2004, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by kenabnrmal
Sykora had an off season last year, and by all means, theres no chance Pitkanen is being dealt, and its highly unlikely Gagne is going anywhere. However, the disparaging remarks made by Flyers fans regarding Sykora are absolutely puzzling. A few seasons ago when Sykora was with the Devils he was seen as a bonifide first liner and a star by pretty much everyone who's a fan of a team in the east. Now that he's playing for a team on the West Coast with a horrible nickname, he's no longer a first liner, no longer a star. Simply a one-dimensional borderline second liner. This, despite he's one year removed from a 35 goal season, 60 pt season. Three time Finalist, Cup winner. Absolutely transparent and laughable. Gange is a fine young player, no disputing that. However, Sykora more than deserves a favorable comparison. He is at least Gagne's peer. They are both fine wingers in this league, and will continue to be so for a good number of years. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but neither is markedly better than the other.
I have in no way disparaged Sykora, but his value is not equal to or superior to that of Gagne's. He's a very good player, but he's not nearly as versatile, he's older, and has a higher salary. Gagne has consistantly shown his ability to score when on a scoring line and his ability to be a top 5 defensive forward on a checking line. He can do anything a coach asks for and you want him out when the games on the line up a goal or down a goal. IMO, he's the next Jere Lehtinen and if he can balance his offensive game and defensive game, he could be like a Sergei Fedorov or a Mike Modano (who was also molded by Hitch), which is not as likely as it seemed a few years ago.

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