JovoCop Strikes Back- Returns To The Panthers

Credit: LitterBoxCats

“…People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy, and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I’m flesh and blood. I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. But as a symbol … as a symbol, I can be incorruptible. I can be everlasting.”- Batman Begins

A symbol, that’s exactly what resigning Ed Jovanovski is for the Panthers. Someone from the past who has “worn red” and will be a veteran leader on this team. “JovoCop”, as he is affectionately called, became the only No. 1 overall draft pick in Florida Panthers franchise history in 1994 and was quickly a fan favorite. A defenseman “polices” the blueline which also is a phrase representing police standing as a barrier between citizens and criminals. Therefore “JovoCop.”

The 35 year-old defenseman from Windsor, Ontario helped the Panthers capture the 1996 Eastern Conference Championship and the team’s first spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. He places among the franchise’s all-time defensemen leaders with 29 goals (4th), 54 assists (7th), 83 points (6th) and 549 PIM (3rd).

At 6-foot-3, 220-pounds he has played in 1,019 career NHL games with Florida (1995-98), Vancouver (1998-2006) and Phoenix (2006-11) scoring 133 goals with 348 assists and 1,421 PIM. He has also appeared in 69 post season contests registering 30 points (11-19-30) and 98 PIM.

“Ed is a veteran defenseman who wanted to return to Florida and we are pleased to have him back in a Panthers uniform,” said Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon. “He is a five-time NHL All-Star, who has played in more than 1,000 games and will be a mentor for our young defensemen and a leader in the locker room. Ed played an important part in the early success of our franchise and we look forward to his return to South Florida and the Panthers family.”

Jovanovski, a five-time NHL All-Star (2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008), also won a Gold Medal while playing for Team Canada at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

I would expect him to become the captain of the Panthers. He is a guy who has a lot of upside and can teach the young defensemen the Panthers have coming up in their organization. He still has a cannon on the powerplay and is solid defensively in his own zone. He drastically improves the Cats blueline and provides leadership in the locker room.

On behalf of the Rat Pack…welcome home sir…welcome home…

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