The Florida Panthers might be without their oldest player to start the 2013-14 campaign.
“[Ed Jovanovski], we don’t know for sure if he’s going to be ready for the season,” Panthers GM Dale Tallon said, as per NHL.com. “But he’ll be ready soon.”
Jovanovski, 37, only played in six games last year while dealing with knee and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending surgery to correct the latter in April, and was off skates until early July.
Though he’s reportedly pain-free, one wonders what kind of shape the Panthers captain will be in once he resumes playing.
Last year’s injuries were serious enough for some to ponder if his career was in jeopardy. Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen was reluctant to address the idea — “that’s a hard comment for me right now,” he said in late March — but it’s clear Jovanovski has some serious health concerns.
Retirement, though, may not be an option.
Jovanovski signed his four-year, $16.5 million deal with the Panthers at the age of 35, meaning Florida is on the hook for the entirety of his contract.
It’s shaping up to be one of the poorest contract decisions of Dale Tallon’s GM tenure in Florida.
While the Panthers were high on Jovanovski’s veteran presence and leadership abilities, he’s now missed 58 of 130 games since joining the Panthers and has only mustered 3G-11A-14PTS in 72 games over two years.
GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: