According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the Kings have agreed to sign former Penguins forward Alexei Ponikarovsky. No word yet on terms of the deal.
In 76 games split between the Penguins and Maple Leafs last season, Ponikarovsky scored 50 points (21 goals, 29 points) and was a minus-1. In 16 games alone with the Penguins, Ponikarovsky had nine points (two goals, seven assists) and was a minus-6.
In the postseason, Ponikarovsky, 30 played in 11 games, scored five points (one goal, four assists) and had an even plus/minus.
The Penguins acquired Ponikarovsky from the Maple Leafs March 2 in a trade which sent Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula to Toronto.
After losing out in the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes and cutting loose Alexander Frolov, the Kings had to find another top six forward. If you look past his inconsistency and examine his pure skill, Ponikarovsky is probably the most talented top six winger still available on the market.
At 6-foot-4, 229 pounds, Ponikarovsky is an impressive physical specimen. Ideally, he would make a nice power forward when you add in his abilities with the puck.
But we saw firsthand how much of a letdown he can be. Despite being teamed with an MVP-caliber player in Evgeni Malkin, Ponikarovsky was a flat-out bust here in Pittsburgh.
Without knowing the terms of the deal, it's difficult to fully digest what the Kings did here, but hopefully for their sake, they didn't invest too much into him.
Update: Ponikarovsky signed for one year according to Dreger. No word yet on the money.
Second Update: According to Dreger, Ponikarovsky's deal is for $3.2 million.
EN Says Again: For a guy who will get you 20 goals and play over 70 games, that' no a bad deal. Just don't count on him to contribute a great deal come playoff time.