Gonchar Dealt to Dallas; Inks 2-year Deal

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, NHL contracts are no exception. With much talk about Sergei Gonchar’s imminent return to finish out his career in the KHL, many were surprised to learn the 39-year-old had been dealt to Dallas on Friday. Now comes word that Gonchar is set to sign a two-year deal with the Stars to remain stateside for a cool $10 million. The 19-year NHL veteran brings an incredible amount of experience to Texas where he joins his fifth team having spent time in Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Ottawa.
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Alex Kovalev Returns to the NHL with the Panthers

(courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

After leaving the NHL for Russia and Switzerland, Alex Kovalev has once again landed back in the eastern conference. Earlier today, the 39-year-old signed a one-year-deal for $1 million with the Florida Panthers after attending their camp on a tryout basis. Kovalev joins a Panthers team that surprised many last season by winning their first ever division crown before being eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in the first round.
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Nikita Filatov Headed to the KHL, Again

(courtesy of Phillip MacCallum/Getty)

It appears the Nikita Filatov experiment has been placed on hold in Ottawa as the 21-year-old and the team have agreed to let the winger finish out the season in his native Russia. Filatov who was traded to the Senators in exchange for a third-round pick failed to lock-up a full-time spot with the Sens and managed only 1 assist in multiple call-ups in a span of 9 games. While with the baby Sens, Filatov had 12 points (7 goals and 5 assists) in 15 games before asking to be sent on a loan to his old club CSKA Moscow.
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Steel City “Steals” Kovalev

When Alexei Kovalev isn’t making millions of dollars or creating commercials or flying in his private jet, he certainly isn’t living up to his price tag at the NHL level.  Granted, the Ottawa Senators have been in a downward spiral since the season began and are now putting up a fire sale making way for their prospects to get their feet wet in the NHL.  Alexei Kovalev was the latest victim to Ottawa’s massive overhaul.  After signing a two-year, 10 million dollar contract, Kovalev has put up 76 points in 131 games for the Senators.  Compare this to a few seasons ago when he was a point-per-game player with the Montreal Canadiens and it is safe to say that Kovalev has been on a steady decline.
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Alexei Kovalev Becomes 3rd Russian to Score 1,000 Points in NHL


(Photo courtesy of Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

First it was Sergei Fedorov, a month later it was Alexander Mogilny, and tonight, well over six years since a Russian-born player reached the 1,000 career point plateau, Ottawa’s Alexei Kovalev joins an elite club. Kovalev scored a power-play goal midway through the first period(at exactly 10:00) to give the Senators the early lead. With the goal, assisted by fellow countryman Sergei Gonchar, Kovalev became the 76th NHL player to have his career points go into quadruple digits.

Kovalev fired a slap shot past Jonathon Quick after Gonchar’s shot bounced off a LA Kings defender for his sixth goal of the year. The shot was powerful enough to break his stick. Kovalev would add an assist on the game winning goal by Jason Spezza to earn the first star of the game. He becomes the second Senators player to eclipse 1,000 points with captain Daniel Alfredsson doing so exactly a month ago.
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Comrades of the Night-Alex Kovalev and Sergei Gonchar

For the first time in our short history we have two comrades of the night as two of Russia’s most seasoned NHL vets had a memorable night up in Ottawa. Prior to face-off, the Senators honored Sergei Gonchar on his 1,000th game in the NHL by presenting him with a plaque, a silver stick, and a portrait. A video was also shown of his career and the various teams he played for including Washington, Boston, and Pittsburgh respectively.

Gonchar becomes just the fifth Russian (and third Sergei) in league history to surpass the plateau joining the likes of Sergei Fedorov, Alexei Zhitnik, Slava Kozlov, Sergei Zubov, and teammate Alex Kovalev. Kovalev will soon surpass Fedorov for most all-time games for a Russian-born NHLer needing just 11 more games. After being criticized in the early going of the season by GM Bryan Murray, Kovalev scored two goals and added an assist en-route to a 5-2 Ottawa win.
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Anton Volchenkov Makes a Deal with the Devil(s)

vollie(Courtesy of The Hockey News)

The A-Train arrived in Newark today as the New Jersey Devils announced the signing of defenseman Anton Volchenkov giving the Russian bear a six-year contract worth $25.5 million ($4.25 million per season). Known for more of his stay at home style the 6’1 235 pound Moscow native adds a realm of physicality and shot blocking last seen when Scott Stevens led the Devils defensive corp.
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Sergei Gonchar Heads North to Ottawa

gonchar
(Courtesy of The Hockey News)

It did not take long for the NHL’s premier power play guru to find a new home.

Only 14 minutes after the free agency period opened at noon EST, Sergei Gonchar had inked a three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Ottawa Senators. Eager to improve on a 21st ranked power play from last season, the Senators had made the 36-year-old Russian their unquestioned No. 1 priority in free agency.
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Kaspar to Coach, Gonchar to Stay, Volchenkov to Go?

darius_kasparaitis_px600

A relatively busy day in the realm of Russian hockey this Monday afternoon when it comes to defensemen as newsworthy headlines have appeared throughout today’s blogosphere. The biggest is of former NHL player Darius Kasparaitis retiring from his KHL club SKA St. Petersburg in order to become an assistant coach with the team he spent his last playing days with.
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Comrade of the night-Alexei Kovalev

90960651PM017_PHILADELPHIA_(Courtesy of Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

After failing to score in 16 games before recording a hat-trick against the Carolina Hurricanes on December 12th, Alexei Kovalev snapped his latest goal drought, this one for ten games, by netting four goals against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night.

Kovalev, who also added an assist, got on the board twice in the first period and then again in the third. He would score on both Michael Leighton and then Brian Boucher who came in relief. Kovalev became just the fifth Senator in team history with a four-goal game. Kovalev now has 12 career hat-tricks. Below are all four goals courtesy of the NHL and NHL.com

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