Panthers’ Ed Jovanovski plans season-ending surgery

Injury-prone Florida Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanovski tried to avoid it, but he’ll undergo season-ending hip surgery on April 5, the Miami Herald’s George Richards reports.

The 36-year-old served as the Panthers’ captain while being limited to six games played in 2013, but Florida’s brass shouldn’t be shocked by his health issues.

He was limited to 66 games last season and 50 with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2009-10, following his career path of showing glimpses of serious talent while frustrating with frequent bumps and bruises.

Richards doesn’t think that this problem will end the aging blueliner’s career. Considering his 35+ contract, the Panthers wouldn’t get relief if it did; the only way of getting out of a deal with a $4.125 million cap hit that expires in 2014-15 is either just sucking it up or amnestying the contract this summer.

(Or trading/waiving him … somehow.)

One way or another, it looks like “Jovocop” doesn’t have much left.

Fun fact: Florida made him the No. 1 pick of the 1994 NHL Draft.

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