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Insider Only Penguins have been in contact today with Ponikarovsky’s camp

The market for winger Alexei Ponikarovsky has developed slowly after a disappointing run with the Penguins.
While no talks or negotiations took place between Pens GM Ray Shero and Rick Curran the agent for Ponikarovsky before July 1, the two sides did speak earlier today.
The Penguins are monitoring the market for Ponikarovsky and have an interest in bringing Ponikarovsky back on a one year deal.
Due to their being limited suitors at this moment, Ponikarovsky’s camp hasn’t closed the door on a return to Pittsburgh either, although Curran knows the reality of something getting done is unlikely due to the Penguins cap situation.
“We spoke earlier……probably not going to happen, ” Curran told Inside Pittsburgh Sports shortly after 2:30 p.m. today, when asked about the possibility of a deal being worked out between the two sides.

Based on how things have developed, Ponikarovsky is not going to land the three-to-four year deal that Curran coveted for his client.
In the few talks I’ve had with Curran since yesterday evening, there appears to be some intrigue in coming back to Pittsburgh for one more season if the team can come close to matching his salary ($2.5 million) from 2009-2010.
I wasn’t told that directly by him or anyone in Ponikarovsky’s camp but that’s the indication I’ve been given.
A deal in the low $2 million range may even get it done but the Penguins only have about $2.2 million to spend and like to keep at least $500,000-$700,000 in cap space for callups and such.
The chances of Ponikarovsky returning is unlikely but surprisingly the possibility still exisits according to those from both sides.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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