Kovalev doesn’t travel with Panthers; retirement looming?

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Sounds as though Alexei Kovalev’s time with the Florida Panthers will soon come to an end.

Kovalev, 40, didn’t travel with Florida to Carolina — the Panthers and ‘Canes play on Saturday — and head coach Kevin Dineen said an announcement about the veteran forward’s future is pending.

Here’s more, from the Miami Herald’s George Richards:

Kovalev has been a healthy scratch on numerous occasions this year, appearing in 14 of Florida’s 20 games thus far. He’s scored 2G-3A-5PTS with a minus-1 rating, but only has one point in his last seven contests.

The former Ranger, Penguin, Canadien and Senator signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Panthers in early January, a deal that included games-played bonuses. The deal marked his return to the NHL after a one-year hiatus.

Update: Here’s more context, from RDS’ Renaud Lavoie…