This will be the third team of the 2019-2020 season for the veteran Kovalchuk, who returned to the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings earlier in the regular season. The Kings went on to waive him due to his $18.25 million contract not being worth it for a team that is near the bottom of the Pacific Division. That move came in December, but the Canadiens went on to add him in January for the veteran's minimum of $700,000.
The move gives Kovalchuk a chance to play with his fellow star countryman and good friend Alex Ovechkin, who just became the eighth player to surpass 700 career goals on Saturday afternoon against the New Jersey Devils. The two posted a picture on social media during Christmas of them going out for drinks, so the chemistry should instantly be there once Kovalchuk makes his team debut.
Kovalchuk was suppose to help the Canadiens in the playoff race, but the Habs have not gained any ground despite the addition, as they currently sit eight points back of a Wild Card spot and six points back of an Atlantic Division playoff spot. The Buffalo Sabres jumped over them in the standings with their 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. The lack of growth was not because of Kovalchuk, as the veteran winger posted six goals and seven assists over 22 games with them. The former top overall pick in the 2001 NHL Draft has a career 442 goals and 872 points over 919 NHL games, which led to him getting a record 15-year, $100 million deal with the Devils in 2010. Although, he left just three years in to that deal to play in Russia, but is now back hoping to lift a Stanley Cup with one of the greatest players of all time.