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Alex Kovalev couldn't impress enough in his second stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins to hang on for another NHL season. ((Justin K. Aller/Getty Images))

Alexei Kovalev will be heading back to Russia to play in the KHL, according to a report.

The Russian newspaper Sport-Express reported that Kovalev has signed a two-year deal to play with Atlant Mytishchi.

The 38-year-old Kovalev found no immediate takers as an NHL free agent after a disappointing season. He finished with 16 goals and 18 assists in 54 games in 2010-11.

Obtained by Pittsburgh late in the season from Ottawa, he managed just three goals and six assists in 27 regular season and playoff games in his second stint with the Penguins.

Kovalev notched 428 goals and 596 assists for 1,024 points in 1,302 career NHL games, which included long stretches with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh and Montreal.

He won a Cup with the Rangers in 1994.

At season's end, those totals put him fifth in career goals among all active players, and sixth in points.

Journeyman defenceman Brent Sopel said through his Twitter feed on Friday that he'll also play in the KHL starting this fall.

Sopel said he signed a two-year contract, although he did not reveal which club it was with.

It was later reported to be Metallurg Novokuznetsk.

The 34-year-old ended the season with Montreal after a trade from Atlanta.

Sopel has scored 44 goals and 174 assists in 659 career regular season NHL games, with 309 penalty minutes.

He also played for Vancouver, the New York Islanders, Los Angeles, and Chicago, winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010.