Alexei Ponikarovsky’s tenure with the Pittsburgh Penguins will end up being a short one. The 6-foot-4, 220 pound winger will hit the open market in July 1, Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned.
Rick Curran the agent for Ponikarovsky tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports this afternoon that no talks or meetings took place with Pens GM Ray Shero this week in Los Angeles. Indications are none are scheduled in the coming days.
The Penguins liked Ponikarovsky enough before trading for him, that there was an interest in retaining him this off-season.
Pens GM Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in late May that the team was “intrigued” by Ponikarovsky and did not close the door on retaining him.
“I don’t think we’ve closed the door on [Ponikarovsky],” Shero told the Post-Gazette. “We have to see how things work out for us.”
“Why it didn’t work, we don’t know, but whether it’s with us or somebody else, he’ll bounce back, ” Shero said.
Ponikarovsky is eyeing a multi-year deal in the range of 3-to-4 years worth upwards of $3 million per season. Pittsburgh only had interest in discussing a short-term deal in the 1-to-2 year range.
Ponikarovsky, 30, has posted 50+ points in two straight seasons, including a career-high 61 points in 2008-2009.
Ponikarovsky will join Jay McKee and Ruslan Fedotenko as Penguins who will hit the open market. More will follow in the coming days…..Decisions haven’t been made from Bill Guerin, Mark Eaton, Jordan Leopold and Sergei Gonchar.