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Alexei Kovalev named head coach of KHL’s Kunlun Red Star

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Kovalev gets his first head coaching gig in the KHL

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Alexei Kovalev is the new head coach of the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star. This is Kovalev’s first head coaching gig after serving as an assistant with the club for the past two seasons under former head coach Kurt Fraser.

The Russian winger turned hockey executive and coach is the second member of the New York Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup team to coach KRS, following Mike Keenan’s run as the team’s bench boss and general manager in 2017-18.

Kovalev, 47, played 492 games with the Rangers across nine seasons. He registered 142 goals and added 188 assists. He last played professional hockey in 2016-17 in the Swiss B League.

Kunlun finished 18th in the KHL standings in 2019-20 with a record of 26-36, with six wins and eight losses coming in extra time. The team has not made the playoffs since its inaugural season in 2016-17. Red Star will be playing in Mytishchi, Russia in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019-20, Red Star’s featured former Ranger Ryan Sproul and former draft selection Ethan Werek.