According to Elliot Friedman of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, the Florda Panthers will place their captain, Ed Jovanovski, on unconditional waivers so
that the team can buy out the final year of his contract.
Jovanovski, who recently turned 38, was to make about $4 million next season despite missing numerous games due to injuries the past couple seasons.
His long and successful career is finally wounding down after he enjoyed many seasons with the Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, and Vancouver Canucks. He was drafted first overall by the Panthers back in 1994. After a successful rookie season, however, Jovanovski failed to live up to his expectations, and in 1999 was traded to the Canucks. The trade, which included the likes of Pavel Bure, Kevin Weekes, and Brett Hedican changing teams, changed the landscape of both clubs and was one of the biggest trades of the early 2000s. When Jovanovski was in Vancouver, however, he began to live up to at least some of the hype. He was an All-Star multiple times while in Vancouver. He then signed with Phoenix for a few seasons then came back to Florida in 2011. Although he never won a Stanley Cup, he won Olympic gold in 2002 in Salt Lake City.
Jovanovski has seen a drop in his production recently because of his age, but many people will argue that GM Dale Tallon should have kept him for his final season so that he can mentor Aaron Ekblad, who plays a similar game as Jovanovski.
Nonetheless, there is a chance a team might sign him for his veteran presence, but if not, he will likely retire.