Here’s what Terry Murray said today about the Kings’ signing of Alexei Ponikarovsky…
Question: From your time in Philadelphia, what do you remember about Ponikarovsky and what type of game he plays?
MURRAY: “Ponikarovsky, he’s a hard-working guy. He’s going to play at both ends of the rink. He’s a big-bodied guy who can play in those tight spaces and protect the puck along the boards. He’s going to create from down low. He’s going to be a presence around the net and score goals. He has been a 20-goal scorer over the last few years, and I’d like to think that there’s always room for improvement on that side of it and that hopefully he can get those numbers up. i think, often times, when you look at a player, especially a European player, you wish that they would take advantage of more of the opportunities that they put themselves in, instead of looking for that one more option. He’s got a great shot. He’s just going to be a good complement to our hockey club. He will play in all situations. He’s a penalty-killer and a good power-play guy and he’s a good 5-on-5 player at both ends of the ice.”
Question: Going into training camp, is there the possibility that he might fill that left-wing role alongside Handzus and Simmonds?
MURRAY: “Well, this deal is something that just happened, so I haven’t really had any time to give it that much thought. But if I was to put it down on paper right this minute, as to where the fit would happen, that gives you three big men who pay attention to the checking part of the game and, at the same time, are going to have the puck and be able to create stuff in the offensive zone. So that’s probably our first look at it.”