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Panthers captain Jovanovski questionable to start season

Sep 11, 2013, 4:06 PM EST

edjovanovskigetty Getty Images

The Florida Panthers might be without their oldest player to start the 2013-14 campaign.

“[Ed Jovanovski], we don’t know for sure if he’s going to be ready for the season,” Panthers GM Dale Tallon said, as per NHL.com. “But he’ll be ready soon.”

Jovanovski, 37, only played in six games last year while dealing with knee and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending surgery to correct the latter in April, and was off skates until early July.

Though he’s reportedly pain-free, one wonders what kind of shape the Panthers captain will be in once he resumes playing.

Last year’s injuries were serious enough for some to ponder if his career was in jeopardy. Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen was reluctant to address the idea — “that’s a hard comment for me right now,” he said in late March — but it’s clear Jovanovski has some serious health concerns.

Retirement, though, may not be an option.

Jovanovski signed his four-year, $16.5 million deal with the Panthers at the age of 35, meaning Florida is on the hook for the entirety of his contract.

It’s shaping up to be one of the poorest contract decisions of Dale Tallon’s GM tenure in Florida.

While the Panthers were high on Jovanovski’s veteran presence and leadership abilities, he’s now missed 58 of 130 games since joining the Panthers and has only mustered 3G-11A-14PTS in 72 games over two years.

  1. sjsblitz - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    The Panthers had a capatain? (Mind blown)

  2. Exiled1 - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    I thought he retired to Florida…..not playing for Florida.

  3. colby7 - Sep 11, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    This just in.. Panthers invite Nick Lidstrom to camp on a PTO. No word if he accepted.

  4. canucks30 - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Another awesome free agent signing by Dale Tallon.

    A man who hands out monster contracts with term attached to over-the-hill UFA’s like candy.

    He does do a good job at the draft table though…

  5. agentdw - Sep 12, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    @canucks, u are absolutely correct. look at his tenure in CHI as GM. drafted/signed one helluva roster (toews, kane, sharp, hossa, the list goes on), a Cup winning roster….but is HORRIBLE with contracts, as evidenced by StanBo having to clean up his cap disaster after he was fired. Tallon took the same act to FLA, while Bowman has/will continue to reload Da Hawks for yrs to come

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