May 25, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky (12) and New Jersey Devils left wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) celebrate after the Devils defeated the Rangers 3-2 in OT in game six of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Alexei Ponikarovsky Joins Kovalchuk On SKA St. Petersburg Of The KHL

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.

Apr 18, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (30) makes a save against New Jersey Devils left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky (12) as Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kurtis Foster (3) checks him during the first period at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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Tags: Alexei Ponikarovsky Devils Ilya Kovalchuk KHL Kovalchuk New Jersey Devils NHL Ponikarovsky SKA St Petersburg

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