Ottawa Citizen

Kovalev has a big heart


Alex Kovalev knows more than just a little about sickness in a child. As a six- year- old in Togliatti, Russia, he was diagnosed with a heart ailment thought to be caused by the constant overexerti­on of skating six or seven hours a day after school. For two years, the future Montreal Canadiens star was under strict medical supervisio­n; he required blood tests every two weeks. A doctor even told him he couldn’t play hockey anymore. Yesterday, with an eye to his sometimes- fragile youth and the other charity work he’s done prior to and since his arrival in Montreal in 2004, he brightened the lives of many. Kovy’s Kids suite, otherwise known as Loge 5.05 in the Bell Centre, was unveiled as a special oasis that this season will welcome hundreds of sick and underprivi­leged Quebec children.

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