Ed Jovanovski out for remainder of season

SUNRISE, Fla. — Florida Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanovski will miss the remainder of the season with a hip injury, the team announced Thursday.

Jovanovski will undergo surgery April 5. The injury is not career-threatening, a Panthers spokesman said.

‘[He had] discussions with team doctors, trainers and all of us together,” Panthers GM Dale Tallon said. “It’s obviously Jovo’s decision. He’s the one who has to make the final call on that. He knows his body better than we do. I have confidence he will do whatever it takes to get back and play.”

Named Panthers captain prior to the start of this season, Jovanovski was limited to just six games this season. He finished with one assist, a minus-4 rating and averaged 15:39 of ice time per game.

Jovanovski missed a stretch of 21 games due to what many believed was a knee injury suffered Jan. 31 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. On March 9 he revealed it was a different lower-body injury which had kept him out of the lineup.

The 36-year-old defenseman returned on March 16 in Florida’s 4-3 loss to the New York Islanders. He played a little more than 14 minutes over the first two periods, but did not skate in the third.

Jovanovski joins a lengthy list of Panthers who have suffered season-ending injuries. Florida previously lost top-line forwards Stephen Weiss to wrist surgery and Kris Versteeg to knee surgery.

“It would be nice to be a surgeon,” Tallon joked. “It’s never easy. It’s been a tough year for all of us. We’ll get through it. We look forward to moving on and getting better.”

The Panthers, last in the NHL with a 9-19-6 record, lead the NHL in man games lost to injury with 219 heading into Thursday’s contest against the Buffalo Sabres.