Former Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Kovalev is hoping to make an NHL comeback at the age of 42, according to NHL.com.
Kovalev spoke about his life after hockey in an interview with Le Journal de Montreal, saying that he would "come back right away. If Jaromir Jagr can do it, so can I." He had a productive career that saw him score over 400 goals while playing with a number of teams, including the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers.
Kovalev last played in the NHL with the Panthers, but he was forced into retirement by Panthers general manager Dale Tallon. Kovalev said that Tallon told him back in 2013 that he was "no longer part of our plans" moving forward. Kovalev said he was "flabbergasted" at the time, adding that he "had done everything that the Panthers had asked me to do. I think I was good with young players, I was aware of my defensive game, I was fifth best scorer when they called me, I do not believe it."
The former forward said that he has been inspired by the way Jaromir Jagr has played this season at the age of 44, recording 43 points with 20 goals and 23 assists through 56 games. Kovalev told Le Journal de Montreal that he is in "exceptional shape" and that he trains "five times a week by running a full routine in martial arts."
Kovalev played in the Swiss-B League for Visp after leaving the Panthers, and he was fairly productive while playing there during the 2013-14 season, scoring 22 goals and recording 52 points in 44 games. He said that he likely will not be calling NHL teams to try and get an offer, but that if a team called him, he would "say yes right away" about returning.
Kovalev has had a productive NHL career with 1029 total points, and he won the Stanley Cup with the Rangers back in 1994. He last played in the NHL for the Panthers, recording two goals and three assists in 14 games during the 2012-13 season.