Jakub Kovar, a veteran goalie of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Jekaterinburg Avtomobilist, has left the team after a mutual agreement between both sides. The league has stated that the decision was made due to medical reasons.
In the summer the goalie signed a contract extension with the team, as well as undergone a knee surgery. In August he went through a rehabilitation course in Germany. The 33-year-old Czech goalie managed to play in a single game so far this season against Metallurg Magnitogorsk – the game was lost with a score of 2:6 with him only being able to make 20 saves on 26 shots.
Per General Director of the team, Maxim Rjabikov Kovar had complained about his health situation and that he’s not feeling well. His future was discussed with his agent. At this point, it’s unclear if the player will be able to play hockey and is considering retirement.
Although there has been no official word on what’s health issues the player is facing it’s been stated that it has nothing to do with the surgery he had during the off-season. The goalie is now seeking medical opinions on whether he can continue to play hockey. He himself has stated that he is ready to do whatever it takes to return to the ice – ideally back with the Avtomobilist team.
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Kovar has played in KHL since 2013 and has been one of the most prominent netminders in the league. He spent seven seasons with Avtomobilist and this would’ve been his eighth year. The only other team he ever suited up was Severstal Cherepovets during the 2016./17. season.
In 2006 he was drafted 109th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers but he never made it to the NHL. Kovar has played in Czech Extra League, Ontario Hockey League, and the KHL. His best career season was back in 2018./19. when he suited up for Avtomobilist and played 50 games turning away 93,9% of the opposing shots and averaged 1.78 goals against per game.