Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon announced today that defenseman Ed Jovanovski will undergo surgery on a broken hand suffered in a fight with Boston’s Daniel Paille.
Jovanovski’s expected to miss two months with the injury; here’s the fight in which he mangled his metacarpus:
According to the Boston Herald, Paille took exception to being clipped by Jovanovski’s elbow (Paille already missed time this year with a concussion) and threw down despite giving up roughly three inches and 20 pounds to the veteran Florida rearguard.
That said, Paille ended up faring much better in the long run as Jovanovski will now miss extended time over his team’s most crucial stretch of the season.
Florida is just one point up on Washington for top spot in the Southeast Division, but just two clear of ninth-place Toronto (whichever team falls out of first in the SE lands in a dogfight for the playoffs.) Jovo was firmly entrenched as a 16-minutes-a-night guy in the Panther defense and with him gone, additional responsibility falls on the shoulders of youngsters Keaton Ellerby (23 years old) and Erik Gudbranson (20).