Kovalev signed a one-year contract with the Panthers that Bob McKenzie is reporting is worth $1 million and also contains bonuses for games played.
Kovalev came to camp with Florida on a tryout contract after playing last season in the Kontinental Hockey League. He last played in the NHL at the end of the 2010-11 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Teams must announce their 23-man rosters for opening night by 5 p.m. ET Friday.
You've got to focus on playing good hockey. When we do that we give ourselves a chance to win games. Win games and then maybe we''ll have a chance at the end. You can't worry about something like (the division title) when we're not playing our best hockey down the stretch. We'll figure things out together the way we always do and get back on the right page.
— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews after loss to Flyers on Wednesday left them five points out of first place in Central Division