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Kovalev done with Panthers, future to be determined

Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 1:08 PM | Alain Poupart  - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Veteran forward Alex Kovalev's status remains unknown.

Kovalev still is property of the Florida Panthers, but he no longer figures in the team's plans, and general manager Dale Tallon said Tuesday that Kovalev was "still weighing his options."

"It was just a mutual agreement that we wanted to go in a different direction, that's all," Tallon said.

Tallon said he was hoping for a resolution sometime this week. Kovalev, who was out of the NHL last season, could agree to be sent down to the American Hockey League, accept a buyout or retire.

Kovalev was signed to a one-year contract after going to training camp as a tryout player and started the season with a goal and two assists in the opener, a 5-1 home victory against the Carolina Hurricanes.

But Kovalev had a goal and an assist over the next 16 games and was scratched three times during that stretch.

He last played Feb. 22 in a 3-1 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins, getting a season-low 9:17 of ice time. The following game, against the Boston Bruins at the BB&T Center, came on Kovalev's 40th birthday but he was a healthy scratch.

Kovalev did not accompany the Panthers on their recent trip, Saturday's game at Carolina.

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