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Ponikarovsky won't join Pens until Saturday

Mar 4, 2010, 9:52 AM EDT

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The acquisition of Alexei Ponikarovsky by the the Pittsburgh Penguins is arguably the best trade at the deadline. It’s at least close. But he may not be able to even join his new team until Saturday, at that’s at the earliest.

Ponikarovsky is Ukrainian and his work visa is for Canada; he was able to play in the United States only as a visiting team member. Now that he’s going to be based out Pittsburgh, he and the team are having to scramble to get his visa adjusted so he can actually play with the Penguins.

He will miss Thursday’s game and would hopefully join the team to play Dallas on Saturday.

I can only imagine the red tape the team is trying to get through right now, and a process that most likely takes weeks or even months for the layperson is being compressed into just a few days.

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