Making yet another splash on the first day of free agency, the Panthers signed former Phoenix Coyote defenseman Ed Jovanovski to a four year, $16.5 million dollar deal. A former first-round draft selection by the Panthers who was a key player in the 1996 Stanley Cup playoff run for the Cats, Jovanovski will likely be a top-four defensive player next season and should provide solid veteran leadership alongside the recently acquired Brian Campbell. At age 35, Jovo's best years may be behind him, but he is no doubt a great addition to the blue line for the Panthers and should see some power play time as well, as he still has a booming point shot.
This signing will help create a problem for GM Dale Tallon and new head coach Kevin Dineen next season, but a very good problem indeed: Florida is now pretty stocked on the blue line. Campbell, Jovanovski, Keaton Ellerby, Dmitri Kulikov, Mike Weaver, Jason Garrison, and plenty of prospects in Erik Gudbranson, Colby Robak, Clay Wilson and Alexander Petrovic. Expect to see some real competition during camp this year for a starting gig on the blue line.
Welcome back to Florida, JovoCop!
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