Call it deja vu, call it what you want, Alexei Ponikarovsky is a Devil once more. Left for the greater pastures of Winnipeg, the 32-year-old winger is back with New Jersey after a total of 12 games with the Jets.
The Kiev native was likely reacquired to fill in for the injured Dainius Zubrus who will miss 2-8 weeks following wrist surgery. “My little Poni” returns after being offered $1.8 million in Winnipeg after the Devils presumably held out money to keep the now departed Zach Parise. In 33 games with New Jersey, he scored 7 goals and 11 assists and added 1 goal and 8 assists in the playoffs. He is best remembered for his OT goal against the Flyers in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. He has since scored just two goals in his brief time in Winnipeg.
His return forces the Devils to send down one of their players to the AHL and my guess is newly-acquired center Andrei Loktionov who was called up this morning. However, should he stay and make his Devils debut the team would regain the NHL lead for most Russian speaking players.