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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Kovalev hoping for another shot with Habs

Thursday, 06.14.2012 / 3:31 PM / News

NHL.com

Alex Kovalev wants to return to the NHL.

The veteran forward Thursday told the Montreal Gazette he would like to play the 2012-13 season for one of his former teams, with the Montreal Canadiens his top choice.

"Hopefully, I'll find an NHL team," said Kovalev, 39. "The preference is always going to be a team I've played on because you know the environment.

"And I'd definitely like to come back to Montreal. They're all about the young guys, but I can help in all different ways. And I can still play. I have a lot of energy."

Kovalev signed a two-year contract last year to play in the KHL, but has been released from that deal. He was limited by a knee injury to just 22 games.

Kovalev played for the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins before he was traded to Montreal during the 2003-04 season. After four seasons, he signed with the Ottawa Senators as a free agent. He was traded back to the Penguins and played his last NHL game in 2011.

"I always think about having left Montreal," he said. "You make a mistake in life and you learn from it. I would make a different move if I could have that back.

"I'm working hard, training three times a week and keeping in shape. Hopefully, somebody will get interested."

It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday