In July of 2011, one of Dale Tallon’s first acts as GM of the Florida Panthers was to sign Ed Jovanovski to a four year $16.5MM deal. It was silly from the moment that it was signed and, today, the Panthers announced that they were buying Jovanovski out of his contract.
Jovanovski was the beneficiary of some friendly zone starts in Phoenix, so I’ve graphed his open play Corsi% (considering only those portions of the game where there is no effect from faceoffs) versus what his team did without him from 2007-14.
What you see is that in the two years before he went to Florida, he was dragging his team’s Corsi% down. Unsurprisingly, Florida did not cure him in 2011-12 – he had the same effect his first year there. He had the big spike in his second year as a Panther but only played six games due to injury. This year, he played 37 games and had a similar impact.
Oh, and when Florida signed him, he was already 35. So basically, old injury prone player who had been a drag on his team in Phoenix continued to be injury prone and a drag on his team in Florida. The Panthers weren’t a floor team either – they were $7MM above the floor or so in 2011-12. It’s hard to believe that they couldn’t have replaced Jovo’s contributions for significantly less money.
In most businesses, this would be seen as catastrophically bad management. In the NHL? How could a GM have been expected to know that an old, injury prone bad player would continue to be old, injury prone and bad? We need term limits on contract for old, injury prone, bad players.Email Tyler Dellow at email@example.com