The Kontinental Hockey League or KHL is the Russian equivalent of the National Hockey League. When it was known as the Russian Superleague, they had developed premier talent such as Alex Ovechkin, and Evgeni Malkin. Once it became the KHL as we all know it today, they have made serious attempts at luring players to join the league once their NHL contracts expired. Teams in the league have had success getting players except the players are either passed or well passed the prime such as Sergei Fedorov, Sergei Zubov, Alexei Yashin, Jaromir Jagr(back with Flyers) and Pavol Demitra. After just a few days, you could now add the name of Alex Kovalev who decided to sign with Atlant Mytishchi.
During his 17 plus years, his career has been successful yet controversial in the later years. In his rookie season, he along with Zubov, Sergei Nemchinov, and Alexander Karpotsev became the first Russians to have their names engraved on the cup as they were part of the 94 New York Rangers squad. Four years later, he was trade to the Pens where he had a career high of 44 goals in 79 games played in 2000-2001. After being shipped back to broadway in 2003 to shed salary, he was traded the year after to the Habs where he enjoyed success yet the beginnings of the controversies began. The success he had was after starting slow, he broke out in the post-season helping Montreal overcome a 3-1 series hole and beat the Bruins. As well after a horrible 06-07 campaign which he only scored 18 goals and amassing 47 points, he broke out scoring 35 goals and taking over the captaincy while Saku Koivu was injured.
Now the controversy. During that struggling 06-07 season, he had criticized the Habs coaching staff, the Montreal media personel and his team in a Russian paper. While the reporter took back the comments he said, most fans believed it due to his poor play along with fellow Russian Sergei Samsonov. Another controversial moment was just last season he had gone public about his unhappiness and his role with the team as he was demoted to the 4th line due to his poor performance.
While we look back and say Kovy was best remembered for his controversial moments in his later years, we should not forget his great hockey sense as he had by far the best stickhandling skills and a terrific wrist shot in which goalies had no chance stopping the puck once he shot it from the righthand side.