NHL notes: KHL not Alex Kovalev's cup of tea
|Free agent winger Alex Kovalev. (CHARLES WILLIAM PELLETIER/QMI Agency file photo)
At age 39, Alex Kovalev has decided he likes the NHL ... he really likes it.
The veteran winger hopes to land an NHL job once the lockout is settled and is biding his team skating with the Red Ice HC Martigny team in Switzerland.
"My goal is to sign a new contract in the NHL," Kovalev told Nouvelliste, a Swiss newspaper. To that end, he is in Switzerland with a rather obscure team to work out and stay in shape.
Kovalev admitted to having a poor season in 2011-12 in the KHL with Atlant Mytichtchi, getting only six points in 22 games.
"I prefer the NHL to the KHL," he said. "I received invitations to training camps from several clubs but, because of the lockout, I have not been able to visit directly in North America.
"From what I have heard, the lockout situation will not change until mid-November."
Kovalev had 16 goals and 18 assists in 74 games with the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins in 2010-11.
TEAMMATES STICK TOGETHER
Philadelphia Flyers teammates Daniel Briere and Claude Giroux will play in Germany during the NHL lockout, both having signed with the Berlin Eisbaren.
Giroux, 24, had 28 goals and 65 assists in 77 games last season to finish third in the league scoring race.
Briere, 34, had 16 goals and 17 assists in 70 games.
New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov is headed to the KHL, ESPN.com reported. Agent Jay Grossman said the native of Russia with play for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod.
San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski will head overseas Monday to play for Minsk of the KHL.
A couple of Austrians are heading home -- New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner to his hometown team, EC VSV Villach. and Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Andreas Nodl to HC Innsbruck.