The veteran forward has been held out of the Kings' lineup as a healthy scratch since Nov. 9. He's recorded three goals and nine points in 17 games with L.A. this season.
Kovalchuk inked a three-year, $18.75-million deal with the Kings in 2018 after playing in the KHL for five seasons. L.A. will no longer have to pay him, as his remaining $2.65-million bonus was paid over the weekend, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun. However, Kovalchuk's $6.25-million cap hit will remain on the team's books, LeBrun adds.
The 36-year-old is now set to become an unrestricted free agent.