View imageTSN’s Bob McKenzie just reported that the Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Alexei Ponikarovsky sweepstakes, though Pittsburgh still needs to cross the ts and dot the lower case j’s. That didn’t take long, did it?
“Sources tell TSN a deal is in place for forward Alexei Ponikarovsky to be traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for prospect Luca Caputi but at this point, Pittsburgh has to move a contract for salary cap reasons first.Sources say the deal may be completed tonight.”
As I wrote in the last post, Ponikarovsky brings a solid mix of size, skill and two-way play at a reasonable cap hit. My guess is that he could be a decent fit alongside Evgeni Malkin, who is struggling a bit this season (if you call 65 points in 55 games “struggling” that is).
Toronto Maple Leafs fans might want a little more insight on prospect Luca Caputi. Since my analysis basically begins and ends with “funny name” I’ll leave it to the guys at Hockey’s Future.
“Caputi has all of the physical tools to develop into a power forward at the NHL level. At 6-2, 184 pounds, Caputi’s game is based upon paying a price physically. He scores a lot of his goals from in front of the net, and is more than willing to muck it up in the corners. One area where Caputi must improve is his skating, where his initial stride is not as quick as it needs to be.”
[Update at 11:10 pm EST] – The deal is official. The updated trade is Ponikarovsky for Caputi and Martin Skoula. As many have said, Skoula was traded mainly to clear salary cap space.