Dallas acquired the veteran defenseman from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a Sunday morning trade in exchange for defenseman Philippe Boucher. This will mark Sydor’s third stint in Dallas, his most recent being the 2006-07 season after a trade with Tampa Bay. He signed as a free agent with Pittsburgh in the summer of ’07, though he would have rather stayed with Dallas.
“I didn’t want to leave,” he said. “I have a lot of roots there, and we love Dallas. It is just dream come true to be able to put that jersey back on. I think the reason why (I was not re-signed by the Stars) was a cap issue. That’s the way it is; it’s the way the system works. There are no hard feelings. I’ve very excited to be back.”
To get Sydor, the Stars had to part with Boucher – a favorite of both fans and the entire Stars organization. He is an incredible person and consummate professional. But he has struggled this season, registering just three assists in 16 games with a –4 plus/minus rating.
This is a deal where the change of scenery will hopefully help both players.
“Boucher has been a good player and a great guy for us,” said Co-General Manager Les Jackson. “I think the change is going to do him well. We feel that Sydor brings that calming factor back there that we had with (Mattias) Norstrom. He's a smart player."
Added Brett Hull, "Both guys needed a change, and I think it works for both teams. We hope Syd comes in and does what he does best, which is lead by example on and off the ice. He stabilizes our room. He has some solid relationships starting with Mike (Modano) and (Sergei) Zubov and throughout our organization. You hate to lose a guy like Bouch, but it's the nature of the beast with how we were going."
Sydor, 36, has appeared in eight games for Pittsburgh this season, earning a goal and an assist for two points. He skated in 74 games for the Penguins last season, scoring 13 points (1 goal, 12 assists) and serving as an alternate captain for the club. The two-time Stanley Cup winner (Dallas, 1999; Tampa Bay, 2004) also reached the Cup Finals for the fifth time in his career (also Dallas, 2000; Los Angeles, 1993) last season with Pittsburgh.
“Being 36, some people might say your skills have diminished but I think I bring experience and intangibles,” said Sydor. “I feel I can play. I felt really good in Detroit the other night (with the Penguins) and got to play a few more minutes. I believe I can play; I think I showed it last year when I sat for so long and got thrown into the Stanley Cup Final. I have positive thoughts that I can still play this game for many more years.
“I’m coming in (Sunday night) and will be at practice (Monday). It should be a smooth transition.”
The native of Edmonton, Alta., skated for Dallas from 1995-2003 and again during the 2006-2007 season, and in 649 games with the club, recorded 67 goals and 254 assists for 321 points with 385 penalty minutes. Sydor also appeared in 99 Stanley Cup Playoff games with Dallas, notching 38 points (6 goals, 32 assists) and 46 PIM. Sydor ranks 10th in franchise history in assists and 19th in scoring, while among playoff performers in the Stars annals, ranks seventh in games played and eighth in assists. He also represented the club at the 1998 and 1999 NHL All-Star Games.
Pittsburgh was looking to make a change, and Boucher’s right-handed shot and high character attracted them very much. Sydor was elated when he found out that he had a chance to come back to the Stars.
“Dallas was my first choice,” he said. Obviously I’ve spent a lot of time there. This is somewhat similar to what (former Lightning GM) Jay Feaster did for me at Tampa Bay (when he traded Sydor to Dallas in 2006). Once again, (Penguins GM) Ray Shero – I have to say thank you to him because it makes for an easier transition. He has been a total professional in all of this. I’ve been very fortunate. I’m also very excited.”
The 6-1, 211-pound defenseman has skated in 1,179 career NHL games with Los Angeles, Dallas, Columbus, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, collecting 96 goals and 390 assists for 486 points with 724 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 155 career Stanley Cup Playoff games in his career, earning 56 points (9 goals, 47 assists) and 73 PIM.
”I’m just going to come in and be who I am,” he said. “I just want to do the things that I do well.”
Originally selected by Los Angeles in the first round (7th overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, Sydor represented Canada at the 1996 and 2002 World Championships and the 1992 World Junior Championships. He was a First-Team WHL All-Star from 1990-92 with Kamloops, leading the Blazers to the 1992 Memorial Cup championship.
The Stars’ next game is this Thursday at home vs. the Chicago Blackhawks (7:30 pm, FS Southwest, News/Talk 820 WBAP - TICKETS