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"News Team! ASEEEMMBBLLEEE!"
I hate you, Toronto, ON • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
ronguillet@gmail.com
* I can't let you read this blog without first apologizing for the title. Shameful, just shameful. *

Alexei Ponikarovsky is in the midst of a career season.

14 goals and 30 points in 42 games played – on pace for 26 goals and 58 points.

But who is responsible for this sudden jump in production?

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the so-called back-stabbing, heartless monster that is Mats Sundin.

While Sundin may be regarded as a traitor by most Leafs fans, his skill and abilities as a sizable forward has rubbed off on Ponikarovsky – and Antropov – in a positive way.

Puck control. This is the main contributor to Ponikarovsky's success. He excels in shielding opponents from the puck with his large frame – 6 foot 4, 220 pounds to be exact – and quick movements around the boards. These are traits he's acquired by serving as Sundin's linemate for the last few years – and I'm not insinuating he's the next Sundin, but his persistence around the net is a sight to behold for Leafs fans.

Defensively, Ponikarovsky is not too shabby either. On a team consumed of minus players, 'Poni' registers a +3 rating, good enough to join a group of only six on the Leafs' roster. Where Ponikarovsky falters, however, is in physical presence. He's got the size to punish his opponents, but judging from his last four years of play, physical dominance appears to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

Looking ahead to the Trade Deadline, I can't help but drivel at the thought of
Ponikarovsky's value. Usually between the 35-45 point vicinity, the Ukrainian sniper will be regarded as a 20-goal, 50-point player come March 4th – barring a drastic drop-off in production, that is.

With a cap hit of 2.105 million dollars, Ponikarovsky is an affordable, young (28) sniper whose contract terms – 2 years remaining – will only sweeten the pot for potential suitors.

All things considered, I believe Ponikarovsky can garner the Leafs a…

Throw in some dramatic suspense…

2nd-Round Pick.

Taking into account the Leafs lost their 2nd rounder to the Isles in a package for Luke Schenn, trading Ponikarovsky may be a logical move for their future.

On the other hand, if Ponikarovsky were to adapt as a consistent 50-60 point player, the Leafs would be wise in keeping the sniper. But, considering he’s known to be somewhat of an inconsistent player, this could be short-term. I will admit, though, that it’s a delicate situation, and keeping him could end up being the logical choice. It’s in Burke’s hands now.

In a perfect world, I'd be giddy like a school girl if Ponikarovsky, Antropov, Kaberle, Kubina and Toskala are all traded.

I know what you're thinking, but it helps me sleep at night.

[email]ronguillet@gmail.com[/email]
Filed Under:   Ponikarovsky   Burke   Leafs   hockey  
January 13, 2009 12:05 AM ET | Delete
I'm with you. I'm a little disappointed another pick got traded but I think May is a good fit next year especially considering how young we'll be next year. Kaberle will be a Canuck by March thanks to the Sundin signing. Package Antropov in there maybe...we could pry Hodgson or a 1st, another pick or prospect and O'Brian. The big bruiser would look good in a leaf jersey and a draft pick of Burkes. Exciting times ahead boys...
January 13, 2009 7:27 AM ET | Delete
I have never liked him as a player. I figure given his size he should play a tad less soft. however as much as I hate to say it I hope they keep him because he is one of the view offensive threats we have
January 13, 2009 9:49 AM ET | Delete
Yea May gets younger each year he has the button effect. Burke just loves that guy i offically prenounce them husband and husband
January 13, 2009 11:39 AM ET | Delete
you'd love to be there for the gay marriage, wouldn't you Kyle? :-P
January 13, 2009 11:42 AM ET | Delete
I'd really like to see Antropov moved as I doubt it prudent to hold onto pending UFAs... Ponikarovsky I would see moved if the deal made sense as it could also open up more minutes for players like Kulemin or Robbie Earl... I don't know if I would trade Toskala until he has done something to boost his value... buy low sell high... If I couldn't find a deal I liked for Kaberle, I would give thought to trading Van Ryn as they play similar puckmoving styles and could free up some roster space for Kronwall, Stralman or Sifers...
January 14, 2009 4:35 PM ET | Delete
Nashville, needs scoring what do you think it would take for us to get him. maybe koistinen,3rd round draft pick what do you think
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