Penguins Trade Luca Caputi And Martin Skoula To Leafs For Alexei Ponikarovsky

TSN reports that the Penguins are close to acquiring Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Toronto Maple Leafs for winger Luca Caputi. The deal isn’t finalized yet, as the Pens need to clear salary to fit Ponikarovski under the cap, which could be achieved by dealing away a depth defenseman or sending Ruslan Fedotenko down to Wilkes-Barre like Miroslav Satan a year ago (or, as my brother texted, “Maybe McKee turns up dead?”)

Caputi is only 21 and has 23 goals for Wilkes-Barre this season, and Ponikarovsky is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, so it’s an unambiguous, old-fashioned deadline roll of the dice on Ray Shero’s part. Ponikarovsky is a 6’4″ winger with 19 goals and 22 assists this year in 61 games, scored 23 a year ago, and he’s somehow a +5 on the Maple Leafs despite their Conference-worst -46 goal differential (and he was a +6 last season). Maybe he’s some secret does-the-little things, physical, responsible dude? I can’t honestly say I really know much more about him other than him being one of the most talked-about names leading up to trade deadline next to Ray Whitney and Raffi Torres, and he’s clearly a better fit for the Pens than either of them.

According to the photo on TSN, I’m not really liking his size:

But for a full verdict, I’ll have to count how many F-words I yell when Crosby or Malkin set him up for one-timers before I can judge. I can’t imagine he’ll top Kunitz’s 35/Game.

UPDATE (9:58 pm): The Pens are including Martin Skoula in the deal after failing to convince the NHL that they’d get under the cap by releasing a dude named Cappo McSalaryson.

Stay tuned to Elvis Has Left, the only place on the internet for Trade Deadline updates.


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