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июля 2010 года.
Kings sign Ponikarovsky after Frolov heads to N.Y. NHL: Left-wing inks one-year, $3 million contract with L.A. // Daily News
The Kings' first free-agent acquisition of the offseason was a big one, more literally than metaphorically.
Left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky agreed to a one-year contract Tuesday worth $3 million, plus a reported $200,000 signing bonus. The signing came a week after Ilya Kovalchuk spurned Los Angeles for a now-disputed contract in New Jersey, and hours after ex-King Alexander Frolov signed with the New York Rangers.
At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, the 30-year-old Ponikarovsky represents an upgrade in size, if not skill, over Frolov. He has 116 goals and 150 assists in 493 career games. He scored a career-best 23 goals in 2008-09 for the Toronto Maple Leafs, where Ponikarovsky began his NHL career in 2000.
"I can score goals and create some goals for the linemates, use my size in the corners, go hard on the forecheck and take the puck to the net," Ponikarovsky said. "I can also be used on the penalty kill and the power play. I'm a two-way forward. I like to take care of our own end first."
That last sentence will come as music to the ears of Kings head coach Terry Murray, and suggested Ponikarovsky will fit well with the organizational philosophy. Then again, Ponikarovsky was supposed to be a good fit in Pittsburgh when the Maple Leafs traded him to the Penguins in February.
Ponikarovsky proceeded to score just two goals in 16 regular-season games while flanking an elite center, Evgeni Malkin.
He added just one goal in 11 playoff games and was a healthy scratch in games 5 and 6 of the Penguins' second-round series against the Montreal Canadiens.
"It was a little different situation. I worked hard and tried to fit in with the team and do my best," Ponikarovsky said. "I didn't play on the penalty kill. They used me on the power play but sometimes I was on the second unit, so I didn't play too much."
He gives the Kings another left-handed shot - Frolov shot right-handed - who can fill either a second- or third-line role. Ponikarovsky is no Kovalchuk, but Kings general manager Dean Lombardi had to turn his attention elsewhere while Kovalchuk's contract with the Devils goes to arbitration.
Ponikarovsky still lives in Toronto, but might be swayed to relocate if he earns a long-term deal after his 2010-11 audition.
"I just want to establish myself and show what I'm capable of," he said.
"If it's going to satisfy the team and management, we'll see what we can
do in the longer term."