Devils trade for Alexei Ponikarovsky

Updated: February 14, 2013, 3:32 PM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

The New Jersey Devils have acquired left winger Alexei Ponikarovsky in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets, general manager Lou Lamoriello announced on a conference call Wednesday night.

The Devils sent the Jets a seventh-round pick in 2013 and a fourth-round pick in 2014 in the deal.

Lamoriello said the decision to make the move for the 32-year-old Ponikarovsky was impacted by the injury to forward Dainius Zubrus, who underwent exploratory wrist surgery Thursday.

"There's no question that played a factor in doing something aggressively at this time," Lamoriello said.

An exact timetable is not clear for Zubrus -- the team should have a better idea within the next 48 hours -- but Lamoriello said he will miss anywhere from two to eight weeks.

Ponikarovsky was originally acquired by the Devils in a trade last January. He finished with seven goals and 11 assists in 33 regular-season games for the Devils and was a key player in the team's march to the Stanley Cup finals in June, but he signed with the Jets this summer as an unrestricted free agent.

"It was a major factor in reacquiring him because he fit in so well," Lamoriello said. "He played our style and he played in all situations."

Lamoriello said the team had interest in re-signing the big-bodied winger this summer, but that Ponikarovsky opted to sign elsewhere while the Devils were waiting on someone else (presumably Zach Parise).

Lamoriello also said there will be another transaction shortly as the team will assign a player to their AHL affiliate in Albany, N.Y., to make room on the roster for Ponikarovsky.

Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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