In August of 2012, we ran an article detailing Alex Kovalev's attempt at an NHL comeback. Unfortunately, the lockout ended all discussion of a comeback before the story ever gained momentum.
Now that the lockout is behind us, Kovalev is again making news as he attempts to find a role in the National Hockey League. According to reports from George Richards of the Miami Herald, Kovalev will participate in a tryout with the Florida Panthers.
Kovalev previously spent the 2011-12 season with Atlant Moscow Oblast of the KHL. Injuries marred his year and he displayed signs that he wasn't content finishing out his career in Russia. As reported by the Miami Herald, Kovalev was given the opportunity to tryout with the Panthers last year but for one reason or another the tryout never took place. He will now take the opportunity the team has given him and try to make an NHL appearance for the first time since 2010-11, just weeks before he turns the ripe age of 40.
What does Kovalev have left in the tank? That remains to be seen. He'll have to prove himself in a hurry with the Panthers as he won't have the usual luxury of a preseason to work out the kinks in his game. He'll have a week, roughly, to demonstrate he deserves a spot on the team's final roster. Even if his tryout goes poorly, it's safe to assume a different club will give the seasoned veteran a chance.
The NHL needs more stories like Alex Kovalev. The year already is scorched by the lockout and is now seeing players threaten to remain in the KHL now that the lockout has ended. Every hockey fan could use inspirational, cheery stories such as Teemu Selanne's goodbye tour and Kovalev's attempt at an NHL comeback to ease them back into the game.