Panthers agree to deal with RW Alex Kovalev

The Florida Panthers agreed to a one-year deal with veteran right-winger Alex Kovalev.

The Florida Panthers and right-winger Alex Kovalev agreed to a one-year deal, the team announced Friday.

The 18-year NHL veteran turns 40 next month and has scored 428 career goals to go with 596 career assists.

“Alex is a veteran player with great skill and vision who we are pleased to have signed,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said in a release. “He is a talented forward with playmaking abilities, who has experienced success both at the National Hockey League level and in international competition. We look forward to his contributions to our club both on and off the ice.”

The deal becomes official one day before the Panthers open up their season at home against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Panthers are looking to repeat as Southeast Division champs after grabbing that title for the first time last season.

Kovalev, a three-time NHL All-Star who was part of the 1994 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers, did not play in the league last season.

The Panthers also announced that defenseman Ed Jovanovski, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1994 draft, would be the team's captain. Jovanovski played the first three-and-a-half years of his career with the Panthers and returned to the team for the 2011-12 season.

Forward Stephen Weiss and defenseman Brian Campbell were named assistant captains.

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