The Florida Panthers announced on Wednesday afternoon that one of their major free agent signings from the off-season, defenseman Ed Jovanovski, has elected to undergo hand surgery on Wednesday to help aid an injury, which he suffered in a fight against the Bruins' Dan Paille. The initial speculation is that Jovanovski is going to miss upwards of the next two months recovering from this injury, but even that is a rough estimate at the moment.
If the rough estimate is close to what actually happens, that would put Jovanovski back in the line-up around the middle of March, back in time for the Panthers' stretch drive.
The hulking defenseman has not been an offensive force for the Panthers this season, but that isn't necessarily his job. Jovanovski has more of defense-first role with the club and with some of his good puck moving abilities, he is able to chip in here and there with some offense, 2 goals and 6 assists in 43 games, to be exact.
Going into Wednesday night's action, that is good enough for 476th in pool scoring, 123rd among all defensemen.
Jovanovski is John P.'s worst defenseman this season, the only one to not hit double-digits in scoring among the foursome. An injury certainly isn't going to help his cause any more, but with the second waiver draft just around the corner, it may provide more than enough reason to drop him for someone healthy and possibly more effective.