Poni never in Preds' sightlines

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

WASHINGTON -- If the Maple Leafs and Nashville Predators were close to making a deal involving Alexei Ponikarovsky, Brian Burke insists he knew nothing about it.

"Never close on Poni," Burke said in an e-mail yesterday, adding that the suggestion of the veteran winger heading to Music City was "B.S."

Burke said the Preds had asked about Nik Antropov, but not Ponikarovsky.

There were reports just prior to Wednesday afternoon's 3 p.m. trade deadline that Ponikarovsky had, in fact, been dealt to the Preds. At one point, the winger said he was driving to the airport to catch the Leafs' charter to Washington when he received a phone call.

"It was a radio station asking me how I felt about being traded to Nashville," Ponikarovsky said yesterday. "I knew nothing about it."

Ponikarovsky was asked about seeing his buddy Antropov dealt to the Rangers. Ponikarovsky and Antropov had played together "since I was 18 or 19 in Russia."

"It's tough to see him go," he said. "But it's like any profession. Everyone changes jobs at some point."


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