Alexei Ponikarovsky needs work visa, will miss at least one Penguins game

PITTSBURGH – Newly acquired forward Alexei Ponikarovsky won’t play for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Rangers in New York on Thursday night because he lacks a U.S. work visa.

Because Ponikarovsky became a Canadian citizen while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the process for obtaining the work visa should take only a couple of days. A native of Ukraine, he could play for Pittsburgh during Saturday’s home game against Dallas.

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The visa is required when a citizen of another country accepts employment in the United States.

The Penguins acquired Ponikarovsky from the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night for prospect Luca Caputi and defenceman Martin Skoula, who was subsequently traded to New Jersey for a fifth-round draft pick.