Ed Jovanovski was selected first overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers. During his rookie season, he earned All-Rookie Team honours and helped the Panthers advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost to the Colorado Avalanche. After three-and-a-half seasons in Florida, Jovanovski was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in a seven-player deal for Pavel Bure. He recently returned to South Florida after July 1st’s Free Agent Frenzy.
I got a chance to talk to Ed about joining the Panthers…
Josh: I wrote an article this week about how you are kind of a symbol for the team to kind of rally around, a symbol from the past, coming into the present…Can you talk a little bit about what that means for you to be the new leader here in South Florida?”
Ed Jovanovski: “It means a lot, I think, for a player when you are looked upon for leadership. It makes you feel good. I felt that I have learned a lot from the players when I first started playing here, like Murph, Screwy, Huffer, all these guys that were in their thirties as a teenager and watching these guys, how they carry themselves and how hard they work on the ice and practice. To be looked upon as one of those guys it feels good; but I think there will be a handful of those guys; the majority of our guys are young veteran NHL players. Good core guys, and I think the mixture is going to be good.”
Josh: Talk about some of these forwards we have here, Kopecky, Fleishman, what is it like going up against them?
Ed Jovanovski: “Kopecky is just a big kid. He is a guy that has skill, but I think his biggest asset is how hard he works. He is a grinder. I remember playing against him in Chicago and in Detroit. He is always one of those guys that is in your face and always hitting you. You know, Fleishman, I don’t see much … after being in Washington, then when he did get traded to Colorado he was on fire. He was playing so well, and then unfortunately, it was a rare thing that he has going on; but I think those are two great players that canscore, Campbell, skates well. Yonkman is a big moose. He is a big guy, who I played with in Phoenix a guy that is passionate. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and this is good. “
Josh: Talk a little about Scotty Upshall. I know you played with him in Phoenix. It seems like he is a great guy. I think the fans get the chance to see his personality come through his Twitter account and stuff like that. Can you talk a little bit about what he brings to the team?”
Ed Jovanovski: “Yea, he is a personality, for sure! He is a good friend of mine. We sat together on the plane all the time. He is a caring kid that loves to scores goals. He works hard. Sometimes you got to pull him back a little bit because his energy is running so high. But he will interact well with the fans here in Florida. He is a well liked guy. It is good for him to be here.”
Josh: Sounds like some good dressing room guys between the new additions…
Ed Jovanovski: “I think that’s the point, You want some action in the dressing room. You want to make guys feel comfortable, having the opportunity to say what they want to say. I have always been a guy that does not shut up, and that guys want to shut up. I try to get myself fired up, going out on the ice. Hopefully it is contagious for the guys.”
Thanks for talking to me Ed!!
…and thanks for reading!
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