Finally, for the first time in years, the Florida Panthers have made a huge splash in Free Agency, and we finally have faith and optimism in our team moving forward as they try to find a way to get back into the playoffs. GM Dale Tallon pulled off a lot of stunts Friday to build the team we all want to see succeed piece by piece. I will cover each and every move made this off-season by Tallon, this edition features Ed Jovanovski.

 

After having what appeared to be a very young, and very sound defence heading into July 1st, Florida GM Dale Tallon shocked Panthers nation by announcing that they had traded forward Rostislav Olesz for star defenceman Brian Campbell. On Friday, he shocked Panthers nation once  again, by announcing he had signed veteran defenceman Ed Jovanovski.

 

Jovanovski is no stranger to Florida, he was drafted 1st overall by the Panthers in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He played three seasons for the Panthers where he showed signs instantly of being a young future star defenceman.

 

The Windsor, Ontario native was best known for his time spent in Vancouver playing for the Canucks. He spent 7-seasons in Van City playing a major roll on their defensive unit, and being a key roll in their success.

 

The same success was carried over to the Phoenix Coyotes when he signed as a free agent on July 1st 2006. His best season come while playing for the Coyotes in 2007-08 when he scored 12 goals and added 39 assists for 51 points.

 

Jovanovski played a huge roll over the past two seasons as Phoenix finally made it over the hump, and made the playoffs. Clearly something which Dale Tallon took note of as the Panthers are trying to end a 10-year playoff drought. Standing at 6’3 and weighing 218 pounds, Jovanovski is certainly a force to mess with on the blueline. The 35-year old, Jovanovski knows just what it takes to be a winning team, and just what Florida needs to do in order to take their play to the next level.

 

Jovanovski has played in the NHL All-Star game 5-times, and he was a part of the 2002 Canadian Olympic Squad that won gold in Salt Lake City.

 

In 1019 NHL games, Jovanovski scored 133 goals, and added 348 assists.

 

One thing that Tallon has ensured is the Panthers defence will certainly not be one to mess around with this year. Jose Theodore will never have to face the shots which poor Tomas Vokoun did during his stay here, making life easier for everybody.

 

 

 

Adam Reid

adam_mapleleafs@hotmail.com