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Kings Ink Alexei Ponikarovsky

Tuesday, Jul. 27th, 2010

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with unrestricted free agent left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.

Ponikarovsky, 30, recorded 21 goals – his fourth 20-goal campaign in the past five seasons – in 77 regular season games with Pittsburgh and Toronto in 2009-10. Other totals from this past season included 50 points (21-29=50), 61 penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating for the 6-4, 229-pound native of Kiev, Ukraine.

Ponikarovsky, who has seen action in nine NHL seasons, totaled nine points (2-7=9) and 17 penalty minutes in 16 regular season games with Pittsburgh after the Penguins acquired him from Toronto for forward Luca Caputi and defenseman Martin Skoula on March 2, 2010. Additionally, he notched a career high five points (1-4=5) and four penalty minutes in 11 postseason games with the Penguins during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Ponikarovsky’s totals in Toronto this past season included 19 goals, 41 points (19-22=41) and 44 penalty minutes prior to the trade.

Ponikarovsky set career highs for games played (82), goals (23), assists (38) and points (61) while skating with Toronto during the 2008-09 season, and all but five of his goals were scored at even strength. He also had 38 penalty minutes and a plus-6 rating that season.

In 2007-08, Ponikarovsky registered 18 goals, 35 points (18-17=35), 36 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating despite only appearing in 66 regular season games with the Maple Leafs.

In 2006-07, Ponikarovsky reached 21 goals for a second consecutive season while totaling 45 points (21-24=45), 63 penalty minutes and a plus-8 rating in 71 regular season games with the Maple Leafs. His six power play goals that season marked a new career high.

Ponikarovsky also collected 21 goals in 2005-06 to go along with 38 points (21-17=38), 68 penalty minutes and a career high plus-15 rating in 81 regular season games.

Ponikarovsky made brief appearances with the Maple Leafs in the 2002-03 (13 GP, 0-3=3, 11 PIM), 2001-02 (8 GP, 2-0=2, 0 PIM) and 2000-01 (22 GP, 1-3=4, 14 PIM) regular seasons and in the 2002 postseason (10 GP, 0-0=0, 4 PIM). He became a regular in the Maple Leafs line-up in 2003-04, scoring nine goals and 28 points (9-19=28), 44 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating in 73 regular season games. In addition, Ponikarovsky also collected four points (1-3=4) and eight penalty minutes in 13 games during the 2004 postseason with Toronto.

Ponikarovsky, who was originally selected by Toronto in the fourth-round (87th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, has 116 goals, 266 points (116-150=266), 335 penalty minutes and a plus-50 rating in 493 career NHL regular season games with Pittsburgh and Toronto. He also has appeared in 34 career postseason games, recording nine points (2-7=9), 16 penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating.

Prior to embarking on his NHL career, Ponikarovsky played professionally in Russia with both Dynamo Moscow and Krylya Sovetov.

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