Alexei Ponikarovsky

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Alexei Ponikarovsky
PoniCanes12.jpg
Born (1980-04-09) April 9, 1980 (age 34)
Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shoots Left
KHL team
Former teams
SKA Saint Petersburg
RSL/KHL:
Krylya Sovetov
Dynamo Moscow
Khimik Moscow Oblast
Donbass Donetsk
NHL:
Toronto Maple Leafs
Pittsburgh Penguins
Los Angeles Kings
Carolina Hurricanes
Winnipeg Jets
New Jersey Devils
National team  Ukraine
NHL Draft 87th overall, 1998
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 1998–present

Oleksiy Volodymyrovych "Alexei" Ponikarovsky (Ukrainian: Олексій Володимирович Понікаровський; born April 9, 1980) is a Ukrainian Canadian[1] professional ice hockey player who is currently playing with SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

Playing career[edit]

RSL[edit]

Ponikarovsky played for Dynamo 2 and Dynamo Jr., farm teams during 1995–99 campaigns, seeing a little action with the main club during the 1998–99 season and finally becoming a fixture on the team during the 1999–00 season when Dynamo won the Russian Superleague Championship.

In 1997–98, Ponikarovsky played 24 games for Dynamo Moscow in the First Division of the Russian Hockey League collecting three points with 30 penalty minutes. He then played 13 games for Krylya Sovetov of the Russian Elite League in 1998–99 and played three playoff games for Moscow Dynamo.

In 1999–00, Ponikarovsky played 19 games for Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Elite League and played 29 games for THK Tver in the First Division of the Russian Hockey League collecting 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) with 26 penalty minutes.

NHL[edit]

Ponikarovsky with the Penguins

In the 2005–06 NHL season, Ponikarovsky put up career highs in goals, assists. points, and penalty minutes. He saw added responsibility and was given more ice-time, often with former Dynamo Moscow teammate Nik Antropov or Mats Sundin, and became one of the team's regular penalty-killers. Ponikarovsky finished the season with four shorthanded goals and 1 assist. His four shorthanded goals tied ten players, including teammate Matt Stajan, for eighth in the league.[2]

On December 16, 2006, Ponikarovsky notched a career high five points in Toronto's 9-2 victory of the New York Rangers, scoring two goals and assisting on three others. He is commonly referred to by his teammates as "The Poni Express", "The Ukraine Train" or simply "Poni". On May 10, 2007, the Maple Leafs re-signed Ponikarovsky to a $6.315 million, 3-year contract.[3]

On March 2, 2010, Ponikarovsky was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula.[4] Following the trade, he remained optimistic he would resume contract talks with Toronto in the off-season.[5] In his debut game with the Penguins on March 6, 2010 against the Dallas Stars, he scored his first goal with his new team.

On July 27, 2010, Ponikarovsky signed with the Los Angeles Kings, receiving a signing bonus of $200,000 and a one-year contract for $3M.

On July 1, 2011, Ponikarovsky signed a one-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes reportedly worth $1.5 million.[6]

On January 20, 2012, Ponikarovsky was traded to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman Joe Sova and a 4th round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. In 33 games, he scored 18 points before helping the Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, scoring an overtime game winner in game 3 of the semi-finals against the Philadelphia Flyers.

On July 1, 2012, Ponikarovsky signed as a free agent with the Winnipeg Jets on a one-year contract worth $1.8 million. After scoring only 2 goals in 12 games, Ponikarovsky was traded by the Jets back to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a 4th round pick and a 7th round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft on February 13, 2013.[7]

KHL[edit]

Due to the 2012 NHL lockout, Ponikarovsky signed an temporary contract with the Ukrainian Kontinental Hockey League club HC Donbass for the 2012–13 season.[8] In Donetsk, he had posted 18 points in 32 games, after which he returned to start the shortened NHL season with the Jets.

Upon the conclusion of the 2012–13 season, with limited NHL interest in free agency, Ponikarovsky decided to return to the KHL, signing a two-year contract with SKA Saint Petersburg on August 5, 2013,[9] a move that reunited him with New Jersey Devils teammate, Ilya Kovalchuk, who also had just signed with SKA.

Off the ice[edit]

On June 7, 2007 Ponikarovsky became a Canadian citizen during a ceremony in Etobicoke, Ontario. Ponikarovsky lives in Miami with his wife Inna, daughter Jessica, and sons Alex and Maxim, while still owning a house in Toronto.[10][11] He has favored wearing the number 23 as two of his grandparents were born on the 23rd, along with his wife. After signing with St. Petersburg, Ponikarovsky obtained additional Russian citizenship, as many Ukrainians in the KHL do.[12]

Career statistics[edit]

Ponikarovsky with the Devils

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1998–99 Krylya Sovetov RHL 13 2 1 3 2
1998–99 Dynamo Moscow RSL 3 0 0 0 2
1999–00 Dynamo Moscow RSL 19 1 0 1 8 1 0 0 0 0
2000–01 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 22 1 3 4 14
2000–01 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 49 12 24 36 44 4 0 0 0 4
2001–02 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 72 21 27 48 19 5 2 1 3 8
2001–02 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 8 2 0 2 0
2002–03 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 63 24 22 46 68
2002–03 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 13 0 3 3 11
2003–04 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 73 9 19 28 44 13 1 3 4 8
2004–05 Khimik Moscow Oblast RSL 19 1 5 6 16
2005–06 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 81 21 17 38 68
2006–07 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 71 21 24 45 63
2007–08 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 66 18 17 35 36
2008–09 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82 23 38 61 38
2009–10 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 61 19 22 41 44
2009–10 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 16 2 7 9 17 11 1 4 5 4
2010–11 Los Angeles Kings NHL 61 5 10 15 36 4 1 0 1 0
2011–12 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 49 7 8 15 26
2011–12 New Jersey Devils NHL 33 7 11 18 8 24 1 8 9 12
2012–13 Donbass Donetsk KHL 32 5 13 18 16
2012–13 Winnipeg Jets NHL 12 2 0 2 6
2012–13 New Jersey Devils NHL 30 2 5 7 8
2013–14 SKA Saint Petersburg KHL 51 6 9 15 38 10 1 1 2 4
NHL totals 678 139 184 323 419 62 4 15 19 28
KHL totals 83 11 22 33 54 10 1 1 2 4

International statistics[edit]

Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2002 Ukraine OG 10th 4 1 1 2 6
2013 Ukraine OGQ 3 2 3 5 0
Senior int'l totals 7 3 4 7 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tom, Godfrey (2007-06-08). "Leaf now a Canadian". CANOE sports. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  2. ^ "2005-2006 - Regular season - All Skaters - Short Handed Scoring - SHORT HANDED GOALS". NHL.com. Retrieved 2007-07-19. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Leafs' Ponikarovsky signs extension". Canadian Press. 2007-05-10. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  4. ^ "Leafs trade Ponikarovsky to Penguins for Skoula, Caputi". TSN. Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Alexei Ponikarovsky: "Fedotenko said:" Ready to win the Stanley Cup? "". 5 March 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "NHL Free Agent Tracker". The Sports Network. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Ponikarovsky reacquired from Winnipeg". New Jersey Devils. 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  8. ^ "HC Donbass reach agreement on contract with Ruslan Fedotenko, Alexei Ponikarovsky" (in Russian). HC Donbass. 2012-09-16. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  9. ^ "Alexei Ponikarovsky joins SKA!". SKA St. Petersburg. 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  10. ^ "2010 Kings Media Guide". Los Angeles Kings. 2010-10-10. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  11. ^ http://www.sokol.kiev.ua/page-id-5420.html
  12. ^ http://hcdonbass.com/news/khl/boris_kolesnikov_byudzhet_donbassa_znachitelno_bolshe_chem_v_proshlom_godu/?lang=en

External links[edit]