Los Angeles Kings finally move, sign Alexei Ponikarovsky

After losing on Ilya Kovalchuk even if his deal with the New Jersey Devils has not been officially approved by the league yet, GM Dean Lombardi took a decision to go in a different direction inking hulking winger Alexei Ponikarovsky to a one-year $3 million contract. The former Penguins and Maple Leafs will also receive a $200,000 signing bonus.

Ponikarovsky, 30, notched 21 goals and 29 assists for 50 points in 77 games split between Toronto and Pittsburgh last season. Poni reached the 20-goal mark for the fourth time since 2005-06. The Russian winger had his best season with the Maple Leafs in 2008-09, scoring 23 goals and 28 assists for 61 points.

Ponikarovsky spent most of his career in Toronto

Ponikarovsky never really blended well with the Penguins last season after being acquired at the trade deadline from Toronto, even being a healthy scratch twice during the playoffs against Montreal.

He will join an offensive group loaded with young talented players such as Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Wayne Simmonds who are complemented by veterans like Ryan Smyth, Jarret Stoll, Justin Williams and Michal Handzus. Ponikarovsky will likely find a nice on the Kings second line and see some power play time.

This signing was done to compensate Alexander Frolov’s loss as an unrestricted free agent. Frolov signed a one-year $3 million deal with the New York Rangers earlier today.

Dean Lombardi’s next move will likely to add a veteran defenseman to his defensive corps as his team is lacking grit and experience on the backend.

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Filed Under: Los Angeles KingsNew York RangersPittsburgh PenguinsToronto Maple Leafs


About the Author: Working as a freelance sports writer and translator, Fred, 33, graduated from Laval University in Quebec City, earning a bachelor of translation in 2002. An avid fan of the Northeast division teams, he's also a long time fan of the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Fred also speaks fluently French and Spanish. http://twitter.com/FredPoulin98 www.traductions-quebec.com

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  1. RyanB says:

    This signing seems to say an awful lot about what Kings management thinks about Frolov. For $3 million I’d probably rather have the skill Frolov brings; not that Ponikarovsky is dead weight, I just think he’s a step below Frolov. But I guess the Kings were looking at the bigger picture and were tired of the Frolov attitude. Depending who he plays with Ponikarovsky could put up some really surprising numbers this season. Not a terrible pickup for the Kings by any means.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BDGallof, Dave Himes and Fred Poulin, RyanB. RyanB said: RT @FredPoulin98 Los Angeles Kings finally move, sign Alexei Ponikarovsky http://hockeyindependent.com/blog/slasher98/20290/ #LAKings #NHL [...]

  3. RANDY WORKMAN says:

    I like this signing it will help the kings

  4. Fred Poulin says:

    I still think $3 million for Poni is a bit of an overpayment for what he can bring to a team.

  5. Dominick says:

    Poni will most likely slot on the 3rd line with Zues and Simmer.TM does like to constantly shuffle his lines tho.Simmer will probably see more time on the top 2 lines(depending on injuries).

  6. Fred Poulin says:

    The Kings will still have three good lines to roll, but they need to get a veteran defenseman to solidify their defensive corps.