Penguins forward Petr Sykora (right) gave a pretty frank interview to the Czech newspaper Dnes on a variety of subjects including Michel Therrien, Jaromir Jagr and Evgeni Malkin.
The original interview is posted on Dnes' Web site. If you can read Czech, have at it.
-On Therrien's line changes:
"Q: And on Sunday, he had not let you play according to your wishes. How does it look like, does Therrien let you know prior to a game, how much you would be playing?
A: No, not at all. Sometimes you play almost the whole game, he sends you on the ice all the time. Then another game comes – and boom, you sit on the bench. You are getting cold; then you don’t want to even go on the ice anymore. "
-On a short offseason:
"Q: Pittsburgh has been struggling since the beginning of the new year and eventually even fell out of the play-off spots. All that while you were one of this season’s favorites following the last Stanley Cup finals. Does this situation impact the team a lot?
A: Of course the atmosphere is rather tense here. Everybody expected more. But when you play so long up until the finals, it is tougher to play on the same level the next year. You are tired, there is no time to heal your injuries during the summer. Basically the whole team is then somewhat slower, and injury-prone. "
-On the team's atmosphere:
"Q: How does it look like in Pittsburgh when the atmosphere is tense?
A: Like everywhere else where the team keeps losing. You come to a practice, and you feel that the atmosphere is bad. The coaches don’t talk to you, they just yell. I hope things will turn."
"Q: What was your reaction to Jaromir Jagr’s quote that if Mario Lemieux called him, he would return back to Pittsburgh sometime in the future?
A: Just the first day we discussed it a little bit with the guys in the locker room. I don’t even know whether Dzhegr and Mario call or are in contact with each other. "
Note: Dzhegr is a nickname for Jagr in the Czech Republic.
-On a return to Russia:
"Q: So maybe you would go to play in Russia again?
A: I’d like to play in the NHL for 2-3 more years. I think I still have results, I am still successful. I’d like to stay. [Playing in] Russia does not attract me much anymore."
-On his future with the Penguins:
"Q: Your contract in Pittsburgh is up after this season, have you and the team already discussed the new one?
A: It’s still too soon, just preliminarily. We discussed that I would like to continue playing here.
Q: So you are clear about that. What keeps you in Pittsburgh the most?
Q: That was a clear answer.
A: I’d like to keep playing with him. So that apparently keeps me here the most."
(Photos: Sykora-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Malkin and Sykora-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)