Alex Kovalev (center) will tryout for the Panthers - Phillip MacCallum
One of the best players to spawn from Russia, Alex Kovalev has a chance to help Florida's young core, if he can make the team. Update: RDS reports former Predators forward Andrei Kostitsyn has also been offered a tryout with Florida.
First it was Marek Svatos, now it's Alex Kovalev. The 39 year-old Tolyatti, Russia native is reportedly invited to the Florida Panthers training camp on a tryout. Kovalev, a member of the NHL's 400 goal club, and 71st in all-time scoring, played 22 games with Atlant Moscow Oblast of the KHL, scoring six points (one goal, five assists). Released from his two-year commitment to Atlant Moscow thanks to a knee injury, Kovalev made his desire to return to the NHL very public.
The 15th overall pick in 1991 by the New York Rangers, "AK27" brings a lot of experience, another Stanley Cup, and leadership, all things Dale Tallon likes in his players. His last season in the NHL was in 2010-11 with the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins, where he scored 34 points (16 goals, 18 assists) in 74 games.
Update: Andrei Kostitsyn will be the third player offered a spot in camp in the last two days. Kostitsyn split last season between the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators, racking up 16 goals and 20 assists in 72 games, including 3 goals and an assist in 8 playoff games with the Predators.