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Update: Ponikarovsky to join Pens Friday

[Update] Alexei Ponikarovsky has received the work visa he needed to join the Pittsburgh Penguins and is now able to play for a team based in the United States. As expected, he will not play tonight for the Penguins but will be able to join them for practice tomorrow. He is expected to play on Saturday against Dallas.

Once again, it is insane how professional sports players are able to hurdle these issues this fast. Just the nature of the beast, I suppose. [End update]

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.