Ponikarovsky won't join Pens until Saturday

The acquisition of Alexei Ponikarovsky by the the Pittsburgh Penguins is arguably the best trade at the deadline. It’s at least close. But he may not be able to even join his new team until Saturday, at that’s at the earliest.

Ponikarovsky is Ukrainian and his work visa is for Canada; he was able to play in the United States only as a visiting team member. Now that he’s going to be based out Pittsburgh, he and the team are having to scramble to get his visa adjusted so he can actually play with the Penguins.

He will miss Thursday’s game and would hopefully join the team to play Dallas on Saturday.

I can only imagine the red tape the team is trying to get through right now, and a process that most likely takes weeks or even months for the layperson is being compressed into just a few days.

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    In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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    Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

    Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

    Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

    The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

    Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

    Ryan Kesler
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    For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

    On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

    With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

    “It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

    As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

    It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.