The Florida Panthers signed right wing Alex Kovalev to a one-year contract on Friday, and he is available for the reigning Southeast Division champions when they open the season against Carolina on Saturday night.
The 39-year-old Kovalev has played in 1,302 NHL games with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Montreal and Ottawa, with 428 goals and 1,024 points. He was with the Panthers on a tryout contract for training camp, and is expected to be on a line with highly touted rookie Jonathan Huberdeau to open the season.
Kovalev last played in the NHL during the 2010-11 season. He spent last season in Russia's KHL.
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon says Kovalev still has "great skill and vision."