Former New Jersey Devil Alexei Ponikarovsky has followed fellow former Devil Ilya Kovalchuk and signed a two-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.
Ponikarovsky has spent the summer being a unrestricted free agent, and from what I understand, has not gathered any major interest by any NHL team.
The 33 year-old winger originates from Ukraine, an Eastern European country neighboring Russia.
Ponikarovsky was acquired by the Devils from the Carolina Hurricanes Jan. 2012 and then reacquired from the Winnipeg Jets this past Feb. Poni played 63 regular season games with the Devils, recording nine goals and 15 assists. He also added a goal and eight assists in 23 playoff games in the Devils’ 2012 Stanley Cup Final run.
This is good for the Devils. Although he is big bodied, Poni does not benefit the Devils on the ice. Many say “He was important in the Stanley Cup run”, but he only had one goal which happened to be the overtime winner in game 3 of the series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
There are no details on the amount of money Ponikarovsky is going to make, but it is another step forward for the KHL in their mission to create a professional hockey league that can overcome the NHL.