Ponikarovsky prepared for trade deadline

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:11 PM ET

Alexei Ponikarovsky is taking his family to Disney World in Florida for the Olympic break, but the Maple Leafs winger knows his life could get a little goofy when the fun is over.

Few NHL observers think Ponikarovsky will be a Leaf after the league trade deadline passes at 3 p.m. ET on March 3.

And Ponikarovsky seems resigned to his fate.

“Yeah, I’m prepared,” Ponikarovsky said. “You are always ready for something to happen. I know that. If management decides to move me, I will respect than and move on.”

The 29-year-old Ukraine native is bound to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but if Leafs general manager Brian Burke wants a high draft pick and a warm body in return for Ponikarovsky, as has been reported, then perhaps a trade won’t happen. But if Burke settles for a second-round pick, Ponikarovsky likely will be gone.

With 19 goals and 22 assists in 60 games, Ponikarovsky would provide solid depth for a team that has playoff hopes.


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