Flyers don’t intend to pursue free agent Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk is eyeing an NHL return, but it won't be with the Philadelphia Flyers.

At a media availability Thursday, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall told reporters, including Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the team is interested in signing free agents to short-term agreements. Then he added that Philadelphia has no plans to speak with Kovalchuk's representatives, according to Adam Kimelman of

Kovalchuk, who has spent the past five seasons in the KHL, is prepared to return to the NHL now that he's an unrestricted free agent. His rights were held by the New Jersey Devils prior to this offseason, but now that he's over age 35, Kovalchuk is free to sign with any team.

Related: Devils haven't held talks with free agent Kovalchuk

The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are among the teams that have held discussions with Kovalchuk, while the New York Rangers also checked in on the Russian winger.

Kovalchuk can't officially sign until July 1. He scored 63 points in 53 games with the KHL's St. Petersburg SKA last season.

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