Thumbs-up from Lupul

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:10 PM ET

"Bust his chops about his hair. Tell him I said he has the best hair in the NHL."

Joffrey Lupul didn't waste time getting in a friendly dig at Petr Sykora yesterday. And why not? The two new Edmonton Oilers were teammates for parts of two seasons with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, and they'll be reunited in Oilers silks this season.

Razzing aside, the presence of Lupul and Czechs Ales Hemsky, Ladislav Smid and Jan Hejda should make the move to Edmonton easier for Sykora, whose knack for generating offence is proven.

"That's excellent,'' Lupul said from his home in California when told of Sykora's signing. "Petr's a scorer. He shoots the puck really well. He's got a great one-timer and he's definitely not afraid to shoot the puck.

"The other thing he brings is experience. He's won a Stanley Cup. He's won championships and been a key component in those championships.''

Lupul, who still hasn't introduced himself to all of his new teammates since being acquired from Anaheim in the Chris Pronger trade this summer, says Sykora is a solid team player and a positive influence in the dressing room. In short, he'll be right at home.

"He's a good guy. He's a guy who will have no problem fitting right in,'' Lupul said. "He's definitely a good guy to have around in the room.''

Sykora, who is married, says he's heard nothing but positive things about Edmonton. In fact, he's seen the town first hand. Sykora spent time here in the past working out and rehabbing.

Familiarity aside, it didn't hurt that coach Craig MacTavish called and told Sykora he'd like him to play in Edmonton.

"I talked to MacT and he kind of told me what he wants from me,'' Sykora said. "I think this team is a very good fit for my style of play.

"We just informally talked before I signed.

"He basically told me he would like me to play for his team. I told him I would love to play here. It all started with his phone call. It's nice when the coach tells you he wants you to play for his team.''

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THE SYKORA FILE

Name: Petr Sykora

Age: 29

Height: Six-feet

Weight: 190

Hometown: Plzen, Czech Republic

Position: LW/C/RW

BY THE NUMBERS

Career Regular Season: 225-287-512 with a plus-77 rating and 290 penalty minutes in 682 games with the New Jersey Devils, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and New York Rangers.

Career Playoffs: 26-33-59 with a plus-20 rating and 40 PIM in 88 games with New Jersey and New York.

HOCKEY RESUME: Selected in the first round, 18th overall, by New Jersey in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft ... pro debut in North America came during the 1993-93 season with Cleveland of the IHL ... first NHL season was 1995-96 when he scored 18-24-42 in 63 games with the Devils ... NHL debut was Oct. 28, 1995 in a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh ... established career highs for goals, assists and points with 35-48-81 in 2000-01 with New Jersey ... has scored 20-or-more goals seven times in 10 NHL seasons with totals of 23, 23, 34, 21, 35, 25 and 29 goals ... was a member of New Jersey's 2000 Stanley Cup champion team ... split 2005-06 between Anaheim and New York, scoring 7-13-30 in 34 games with the Mighty Ducks and 16-15-31 in 40 games with the Rangers.


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