MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanovski became only the seventh player in team history to be designated the team captain. Head coach Kevin Dineen made the announcement Friday, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The Panthers haven’t had a captain since Bryan McCabe in 2011. Jovanovski, 36, has been an alternate while a member of the Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes.
“Being the captain of this team, I think it’s special, especially the team that you’re drafted by, started my career. To be able to lead this team, I’m honored,” Jovanoski told the team’s official website. “As far as guidance and anything I can do to help the guys, I’m always here for them.”
The Sun-Sentinel reported the team surprised Jovanoski with the announcement Friday at the BB&T Center and that his teammates surrounded him and tapped their sticks on the ice in a show of respect to the veteran.
The Panthers finished preparations Friday for the season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. The puck drops at the BB&T Center at 7:30 p.m.