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For the second time in two years, the New Jersey Devils have traded for Alexei Ponikarovsky.
This time it was slightly more expensive. 13 months after paying a 4th round pick to acquire him from the Carolina Hurricanes, the Devils announced that they had acquired Ponikarovsky from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a 4th round pick and a 7th round pick.
Inflation at work.
The trade serves an immediate need. According to Tom Gulitti, Danius Zubrus will be undergoing exploratory wrist surgery on Thursday and could miss anywhere from 2-8 weeks. That would have left the Devils short one immense European forward, but no longer.
That said, it turns out the Devils originally planned to have two. Lamoriello also admitted that the Devils tried to retain the winger after the Stanley Cup run, during which Ponikarovsky contributed 1 goal and 8 assists.
Unfortunately, they had another player to deal with first. (Lamoriello didn't say who that was, but I think we can assume that he was talking about Zach Parise, whose contract would have severely changed New Jersey's cap situation.) While they waited Parise out, Ponikarovsky signed a one- year, $1.8 million pact with the Jets.
But now he's back.
The best news here is that Ponikarovsky is only on a one-year deal, which means the Devils could do this again next year. I, for one, would come to welcome an annual tradition where Lou Lamoirello trades a fourth round pick to a Southeast Division team in exchange for Alexei Ponikarovsky.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney
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