The New Jersey Devils’ idea to give Petr Sýkora his on-ice moment with the Stanley Cup two decades later was genius.
If fans watched Game 6 of the 1999-00 Stanley Cup Final, then just about everyone recalls Petr Sýkora being unable to skate around the ice with the Stanley Cup and celebrate with his New Jersey Devils teammates that June night in Dallas, TX.
The 1995 first-round draft pick was knocked out of the game thanks to an unnecessary hit from Dallas Stars defenseman Derian Hatcher. Sýkora then watched his teammates raise the franchise’s second-ever Stanley Cup from a hospital bed. Head coach Larry Robinson and Patrik Eliáš honored their friend by wearing his jersey during the postgame.
While No. 17 earned another Stanley Cup in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the fan-favorite sadly didn’t experience the glorious on-ice moment with the 2000 Devils.
That all dramatically changed 20 years later.
The 20-plus members from the team returned to New Jersey and celebrated the championship’s 20th anniversary. Every member was introduced. Sýkora went last and was the lone Devil to wear skates and carry out the Cup.
He may have had his chance with the Pens to skate his lap w/ the @StanleyCup but he didn’t with the #NJDevils in 2000, instead recovering in hospital after a major hit by Stars Derian Hatcher…. tonight, that all changes:
Welcome Petr Sykora and Lord Stanley, 20 years later: pic.twitter.com/pBSpyJjYcG
— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) February 2, 2020
He proudly skated around The Rock and endured his moment as a Devil with The Cup.
It was an awesome moment for Sýkora and the fans, to say the least. The concept was a complete surprise and some thought that Sýkora might’ve been skipped over or wasn’t able to stay and attend the ceremony.
It’s a wrinkle that was unlike any other ceremony the Devils have ever executed. And quite frankly, it can never be replicated.