• PRINT
  • RSS

The Captain Is Back

Jovanovski set to put on the "C" and lead the Cats into 2014.

Friday, 01.3.2014 / 2:20 PM ET / News
Florida Panthers
X
Share with your Friends


The Captain Is Back


JovoCop is back on patrol.

Captain Ed Jovanovski will make his 2013-2014 debut on Saturday night when the Florida Panthers host the Nashville Predators at the BB&T Center at 7pm.

After receiving medical clearance to return on Friday, Jovanovski will play for the first time since undergoing a hip resurfacing procedure on March 28th, 2013.

“I remained positive throughout the whole thing” said Jovanovski following Friday’s Panthers practice at the Saveology IcePlex. “I’ve been positive throughout this and I’m going to continue to be positive, that’s all I can ask for.”

It is believed that Jovanovski will be the first professional athlete to return to the highest level of competition following such a procedure, which is a testament to his commitment throughout the recovery process.

As General Manager Dale Tallon told reporters, “I am really proud of the way he has dedicated to himself to the rehab process. It has been a tough road for him, but it does not surprise me how he responded due to the make-up of the man and the character he has. Getting our captain back is really a big plus for our team”

Panthers coaches and players are certainly looking forward to the return of the defenseman who fans nicknamed “JovoCop” for his rugged style of play.  

“It will be great to get him back in the line-up, just the presence of him, the captain, the leader of the team,” affirmed interim head coach Peter Horachek.” He passes the puck hard, battles hard in drills and that work ethic is necessary and needed for our team. Just having him around the last few days in our meetings, in the gym, has been huge for the team.”

“I think it’s going to be great,” exclaimed defenseman Mike Weaver, who has teamed with Jovanovski since the 2011 season when the Panthers captured the Southeast Division title. “It’s going to be a great uplift for the team, having that big shot at the point, especially on the power play, it’s going to be great for us.”

Jovanovski last played for the Panthers on March 16th, 2013 after being named captain prior to that lockout-shortened season. The team chose to not have another player don the “C” in his absence.

The captain, who is just nine regular season games shy of 1100, is set to resume an illustrious NHL career and build on an impressive resume in South Florida.

Drafted first overall by the Panthers in the 1994-1995 NHL Entry Draft, Jovanovski would waste no time making his mark and picking up accolades along the way.

In his first full season, the man who would wear #55 in red was a Calder Trophy finalist for Rookie of the Year and was selected to the NHL’s All Rookie Team. Relying on his defensive prowess, the Panthers captivated South Florida that season as they went on a Cinderella run all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. Jovanovski would play in all 22 Panthers playoff games and record 9 point while taking 51 shots on goal, many of them booming blasts from the blue line.

In January 1999, the Panthers traded Jovanovski to Vancouver in a move that would bring Pavel Bure to Sunrise. With the Canucks, and later the Phoenix Coyotes, Jovanovski enjoyed continued success and was selected to 5 NHL All-Star Games while also capturing a gold medal for Canada at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

After signing a 4-year contract, Jovanovski would rejoin the Panthers prior to the 2011-2012 season, a campaign in which he played 66 games and helped the team make the playoffs.

He is eager to return to the Panthers and the game of hockey, both of which have missed him.

“When you love doing something and still want to continue to do it, for me it’s no different,” said Jovanovski. “My passion for the game is still at a high. I enjoy coming to the rink. I enjoy the competitive side of it and I enjoy the guys. I love what I do.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.