I saw this article by Mike Brophy when I was going through a 1994 Hockey News as I sat drinking tea and swatting the odd mosquito on graveyard shift recently. The article came out during the 1993-94 NHL lockout, and players were playing in various other leagues until things got straightened out. This is how it went.
“The New York Rangers are expecting big things from Alexei Kovalev this season.
The 21 year old delivered Oct. 21, exploding for four goals and two assists in a 21-1 victory. Too bad it wasn’t for the Rangers.
Kovalev’s outbirst came for Lada Togliatti and at the expense of the Central League’s Wichita Thunder. He was one of two NHLers – Buffalo Sabre Denis Tsygurov also played – who dressed for Togliatti in the first of a three-game CHL exhibition series.
Kovalev was the best player in the game, but he was not treated with respect. When Togliatti took a 10-0 lead in the game and continued to double shift the left winger, Thunder players took runs at him. Kovalev fought Thunder hopeful Jason McQuat at 15:39 of the third period.
Togliatti players appealed to the Wichita bench to tone down the hitting to which the Thunder replied: “Quit running the score up on us.”