Jan 18, 2013, 11:49 AM EDT
The Florida Panthers have named veteran defenseman Ed Jovanovski the seventh captain in franchise history.
The Panthers have been without a captain since Bryan McCabe left in 2011. Last year, the team opted to build its leadership group around four alternates — Jovanovski, Tomas Kopecky, Brian Campbell and Stephen Weiss.
But on Thursday, head coach Kevin Dineen gave Jovanovski the “C”, likely due to the blueliner’s vast experience.
The 36-year-old served as an alternate in both Vancouver and Phoenix, ascending to captain with the Coyotes when Shane Doan was suspended early in the 2010-11 season.
He’s also one of the most vested players on the Florida roster, having appeared in over 1,000 regular season games.
Jovanovski will now become the seventh captain in Panthers history, joining Brian Skrudland, Scott Mellanby, Pavel Bure, Paul Laus, Olli Jokinen and Bryan McCabe.
It should also be noted that — despite heading into just his second season with the Panthers — Jovanovski has a long history with the franchise.
Florida drafted him 1st overall at the 1994 NHL Entry Draft and he was a key part of the first and only Panthers team to make a Stanley Cup final (in 1996.)
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Not Brandon Pirri.
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“He gives us the best chance to win, so he’ll be the one starting.”
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