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.
That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.
— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3