The New Jersey Devils decided to trade for Alexei Ponikarovsky for the second time on Wednesday. GM Lou Lamoriello originally brought the big Russian to New Jersey on Jan. 20, 2012.
The Winnipeg Jets received the Devils’ fourth-rounder in 2014 and their seventh-round pick in 2013 for the 32-year-old forward, according to the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti.
Ponikarovsky wasn’t working out well for the Jets, with just two goals and and a little under 12 minutes of ice time pre game in 12 contests. He averaged 14:45 minutes between the Devils and Carolina Hurricanes last season.
The Jets acquired Eric Tangradi, 24, from the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier today, adding extra motivation to part ways with Ponikarovsky.
New Jersey represented a solid home for him for a portion of 2011-12; he scored 18 points in 33 regular season games and nine in 24 playoff contests.
That wasn’t enough to bring him back in free agency, although Lamoriello told Gulitti that the team wanted to do so before the Jets inked him to a one-year, $1.8 million contract.
With Dainius Zubrus, 34, on the mend, Ponikarovsky should get a chance to play a bigger role in New Jersey than he did with Winnipeg.