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It’s official: Alex Kovalev’s NHL career is over

Mar 21, 2013, 7:18 PM EDT

Kovalev AP

Call it a formality if you want, but Alex Kovalev officially retired from the NHL on Thursday, according to the Miami Herald’s George Richards.

While his career ended on a flat note following a 14-game stint with the Florida Panthers, the 40-year-old had a prolific run.

The Russian-born winger won his lone Stanley Cup in 1994 with the New York Rangers. He was a three-time All-Star. His career totals are impressive: 430 goals and 599 assists for 1,029 points in 1,316 regular season games and exactly 100 points in 123 postseason appearances.

(His greatest playoff run came in his first campaign as he scored 21 points in 23 games to help the Rangers win that memorable curse-breaking championship.)

For some, he ranked as an “enigmatic” presence. It’s pretty hard to deny his efforts when you look at the results of his lengthy NHL career, however.

  1. windmiller4 - Mar 21, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    It’s a shame he didn’t work harder, many times it looked like he would just float around with no effort. He had the talent to be one of the greats, he just didn’t have the work ethic to match. A great career and extremely talented player none the less, some of the things he could do were amazing, at times he was very fun to watch. Congrats on a great career

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Mar 21, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      He didn’t work hard enough in terms of compete level during games. His strength and conditioning were never really the issue.

      His interest was in play making and scoring goals…..the dirty work along the boards and consistent backchecking to shut down opponents and generate offense through the transition game never became areas of interest or focus for him.

      Was he a one trick pony?….No….but his unwillingness to compete in all phases of each shift retarded his production.

      Bottom line: It is a shame his career is over….creativity and flow take a significant hit each time a great player retires.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Mar 21, 2013 at 9:26 PM

      Work ethic. Without it, we’d never be able to separate the good from the great.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 21, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    “He played in 1,316 regular season games.”

    Debatable.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Mar 21, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Well played hahaha

    • storminator16 - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      And you played in 0. Nice.

  3. pone27 - Mar 21, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    No reason to knock this guy.

    One of the few Russian born players who were amazing snipers, highly respected, and led a highly touted career.

    Hats off to growing up watching you play Alex, thank you

    • Kristenaux - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      I agree! I loved him with the Pens, he made us laugh (moon walk) & he made us cry (disappearing) but he was a stunner to watch with those hands & those feet!
      Loved you Kovy, & was happy to chat with you & hold the apple for you while you signed autographs at Southpointe.
      Have a wonderful retirement.

  4. theageofquarrel - Mar 21, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Take it easy AK27. Your first go round with the Pens was pretty sweet.

  5. JoeAvg - Mar 21, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Maybe the most consistantly wicked shot I’ve ever seen. Thank you Alex.

  6. itsallniceonice - Mar 21, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Floater and an embellisher. Definitely in the top 5 of Don Cherry’s list of European Players.

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