Sykora, Low-Balled?

By Seth Keggins

Sykora, Low-Balled?

As reported this morning by Washington Post writer Jeff Passan, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A4250-2002Jul14.html, the Czech league prospect Petr Sykora will likely remain in Europe for the summer. His agent, Rich Winter (The Sports Corporation) suggests that Capitals General Manager, George McPhee has “low-balled” his client. Likewise, this is not the case. Instead, McPhee has decided not to offer a one-way contract to Petr who is an unproven NHL commodity.

Mr. Winter has suggested it is all about his clients money offer, however what he has failed to include in his commentary found in this morning’s Washington Post is that his client is not worth a guaranteed Capitals roster spot. “We said, ‘We’ll talk to you next year.’ And next year it’ll be a million bucks, or a million-five. They’ll see a healthy 200-pound winger who can score”, said Winters, but his client is not worth four hundred and fifty-million or a million-five, if he’s not willing to at least sign a two-way contract allowing him to be sent to minor league affiliate Portland if needed.

George McPhee has not personally scouted Sykora prior to the NHL entry draft deal, in which the Caps sent a 3rd round draft pick to Nashville for his rights, but undoubtedly was scouted by other Capitals scouts.
The Capitals and McPhee may not have signed the player they wanted for this coming season, possibly sharing ice-time with projected linemates Robert Lang, and Peter Bondra. However, in the long run the Capitals have saved themselves from forcing an unproven player into the line-up.

This spot can easily be filled by Chris Simon, Steve Konowalchuk, Glen Metropolit or, Matt Pettinger. And at least this way, the Capitals will not get stuck with Mr. Winter’s limousine bill (as he did with Buffalo after an appearance at a press conference at Marine Midland Arena with retired client, Dominic Hasek) if the Caps were going to indeed hold a press conference for Sykora’s signing today.