NHL

Kovalev announces retirement from professional hockey

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The Sports Network
7/3/2014 1:48:11 PM
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Former NHL player Alex Kovalev has announced his retirement.

Kovalev last played in the NHL with the Florida Panthers during the 2012-13 season and spent last season with Swiss second-tier team EHC Visp.

According to the International Ice Hockey Federation's website, Kovalev made the announcement in an interview with Swiss TV station Kanal9. He cited injuries as the reason for his decision.

The 41-year-old Russian native was selected by the New York Rangers with the 15th overall pick of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft and joined the team for the 1992-93 season. He then helped the Rangers end a 54-year Stanley Cup drought the following year, posting 21 points in 23 playoff games.

Kovalev spent his first six-plus seasons with the Rangers, then was traded to Pittsburgh and played with the Penguins until the 2002-03 campaign when he was sent back to New York. He also played with Montreal and Ottawa before rejoining Pittsburgh late in the 2010-11 season and signed with the Panthers in January 2013.

In 1,316 NHL regular-season games, most of any Russian-born player, Kovalev notched 430 goals and 599 assists for 1,029 points. He added 45 goals and 55 assists for 100 points in 123 playoff games.

On the international level, Kovalev won Olympic gold at the 1992 Games in Albertville and bronze at the 2002 Salt Lake Games.

Alex Kovalev (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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