Panthers lure Jovanovski back to Florida

Pavel Datsyuk scores right in front of against Phoenix Coyotes defensman Ed Jovanovski (C), April...

Pavel Datsyuk scores right in front of against Phoenix Coyotes defensman Ed Jovanovski (C), April 16, 2011. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

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, Last Updated: 2:51 PM ET

The Florida Panthers and Ed Jovanovski agreed to a four-year contract on Friday, reuniting the veteran defenseman with the club that drafted him first overall in the 1994 draft.

The Panthers did not release financial terms of the deal, but it is reportedly worth $16.5 million.

A five-time NHL All-Star, Jovanovski has 481 points on 133 goals and 348 assists over 1,019 career games with Florida, Vancouver and Phoenix. He played four seasons with the Panthers from 1995-99 and helped the Panthers make a run to the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals.

"Ed is a veteran defenseman who wanted to return to Florida and we are pleased to have him back in a Panthers uniform," said Panthers general manager Dale Tallon. "He is a five-time NHL All-Star, who has played in more than 1,000 games and will be a mentor for our young defensemen and a leader in the locker room. Ed played an important part in the early success of our franchise and we look forward to his return to South Florida and the Panthers family."

The 35-year-old Canadian played in just 50 games last season with Phoenix and recorded five goals and nine assists.


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