After much speculation over whether or not he may return this season, it has been announced that Panthers’ Captain Ed Jovanovski will have a season ending surgery to fix a nagging hip injury.
Jovanovski’s season came to an abrupt end on January 29th after a dirty hit from Lightning forward B.J. Crombeen took him out of the lineup indefinitely. Jovanovski attempted a comeback on March 16th against the New York Islanders, but sadly re-aggravated his hip injury and was shut down once again shortly thereafter.
After being named Captain prior to the start of the 2013 season, expectations were sky high not only for Jovanovski, but for the Panthers’ team as a whole. However, only a few games into the season it became clear that both the Panthers and Jovanovski would be in for a long season. When he was healthy, Jovanovski competed in 6 games while averaging 15:39 of ice time. While most defensive Captains around the NHL average just over 20 minutes of ice time, Jovonavski’s age and ability kept him from being that kind of player for the Panthers this season.
Although Jovanovski wasn’t dazzling on the score sheet, the value of his veteran leadership and experience cannot be understated. On a team filled with young talent like Jonathan Huberdeau and Drew Shore, Jovanovski’s presence in the dressing room would have been a great assest in helping the Panthers’ young talent stay focused and remain undiscouraged throughout this forgettable season.
While there is some speculation that this injury may be the beginning of the end of Jovanovski’s career, I wouldn’t be too quick to jump to that conclusion. At 36-years-old and set to make north of $8 million over the next two seasons, Jovanovski’s retirement is far from a guarantee. Considering the financial concerns, the Florida Panthers are most likely in no position to use one of their amnesty buyouts, so Jovanovski would have to leave by his own free will. While it’s hard to imagine any player walking away from $8 million, we can save the Jovanovski speculation for another day.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts on Ed Jovanovski’s future in the comments section below!
Follow All Panther Parkway writers on Twitter: Me @JamesonCoop, Frank Rekas @FrankRekas, Josh Luecht @eyesonsunrise, Scott Mullin @GreatScottsman, Paige Lewis @PaigeLewisFL, Gabby Kiger @gabbykiger, Amanda Land @HockeyGirl2530 and David Lasseter @davidlasseter. Visit our Facebook fan page here and give us a like and share anything you wish with us.