After a one-year hiatus, Alexei Kovalev is back in the NHL.
That’s the story out of Sunrise on Thursday as the
Florida Panthers announced they’ve signed the soon-to-be-40-year-old to a one-year deal.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the contract is for $1 million and includes some games-played bonuses.
Kovalev — who’ll turn 40 on Feb. 24 — hasn’t played in North America since skating with Pittsburgh during the 2010-11 season.
He returned to his native Russia for the 2011-12 season, playing 22 games with Atlant Moscow Oblast before suffering a knee injury that derailed his campaign.
Kovalev spent the summer and lockout without a team, focusing on rehab and getting healthy, though he did practice
with Swiss second division team Martigny for a spell.
The former Ranger, Penguin, Canadien and Senator has some ties to the Panthers organization. He played with goalie Jose Theodore in Montreal and spent a season with Filip Kuba in Ottawa.
According to Harvey Fialkov of the Florida Sun-Sentinel, Kovalev has been skating on the Panthers’ second line along with Peter Mueller, and is working on the Panthers’ second power-play unit with Tomas Kopecky and Jonathan Huberdeau.
The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.
Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.
(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)
Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful.
Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.
Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.
As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.
The Boston Bruins welcomed
Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.
You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.
Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.
Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but
Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.
Buffalo’s power forward fought
Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”
You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below,
via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:
This GIF might just say it all, really:
Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.
Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?
The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.
Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.
Perhaps a few will say “Hey,
Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”
Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with
Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.
Want it in GIF form? OK then: