The Carolina Hurricanes last night traded forward Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for minor league defenseman Joe Sova and a 2012 fourth round draft pick.

Ponikarovsky dealt to Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes “fire sale” has begun. Ponikarovsky is eligible for UFA status this summer and obviously no longer fit into Carolina’s future plans. He’s a former four-time 20-plus goal-scorer, but over the past two seasons hasn’t come close to those numbers. He’s a versatile forward who can play both wings, and was acquired to add depth to the Devils third or fourth line. And no, he isn’t being brought in as a potential replacement for Zach Parise! If anything, this is an indication the Devils are loading up for the playoffs.