Maple Leafs Send Ponikarovsky to Penguins for Caputi, Skoula

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a swap for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula on the eve of trade deadline and on a day when the National Hockey League returned from the Olympics break.

Penguins general manager Fred Shero was elated to have Ponikarovsky in his squad, saying that the trade gives Pittsburgh a “chance to be a good team again.” Shero said that he didn’t think at first that the Penguins would land the 29-year-old winger.

The trade appears to be a win-win situation for the teams involved as the Maple Leafs have always wanted to get Caputi, Shero revealed. “Luca was the guy they wanted. We had a long discussion internally,” he said. Shero said that the Penguins would not have let go of Caputi had they had any choice.

Ponikarovsky has amassed 114 goals in a 12-year career. He was drafted 87th overall by the Maple Leafs in the 1998 draft.