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Rumor Mill

QuakermillThe Panthers appear to be content with the roster they've built, happy to sit back and get ready for the upcoming season.

Oh, but there's a rumbling that a big name could be available. A big name Florida fans and management are familiar with.

Ed 'Jovo Cop' Jovanovski could be on the block.

According to a report by New York's Newsday, the desperate Islanders are trying to convince the equally desperate Coyotes to deal off Jovanovski. If there is any truth to this report, one might surmise that perhaps the Coyotes are shipping their top player and if so, you have to think Florida will at least be called about Jovo's availability.

Jovo Not only did Jovanovski start his career with the Panthers, but his wife is from Boca and it appears the Panthers would be a good fit for the All-Star defenseman. Problem is, Jovo isn't going to be cheap -- not on the ledger nor the price to get him. Phoenix is looking to rebuild from the bottom up and has plenty of needs. A couple of players and a few draft picks is likely the asking price.

Financially, Florida would have to ship at least one of its better players west just to make the money right. Jovo has four years left on his contract at a salary cap hit of $6.5 million per year.

The thought from here: This deal isn't going to happen. Florida likes what it has, and to make a deal like this would shake up the roster way too much for a very patient Jacques Martin's liking.

That said, a player like Ed Jovanovski doesn't come along every day. Florida tried to sign him last year and underbid for his services. They felt Phoenix overpaid and walked away (actually, the money talked and the Panthers walked). Do they think the remainder of his contract is now a bargain? We'll see.

If Phoenix does deal him, however, they will need quite a bit in return. The Coyotes are in a bad way and Jovanovski might be worth more on the trade block for them than on the ice.

Don't you love the summer doldrums? We get to talk about stuff like this when there's a 97 percent chance it will never happen. But it is fun, no?

-- Update: Eklund on hockeybuzz.com says he is hearing Jovanovski could be headed to the Panthers or Rangers. Take what you want out of that.

-- Bad news for the Panthers: Atlanta resigned winger Slava Kozlov to a three-year deal. Kozlov has had success over the years against Florida. In 42 career games against the Panthers, Kozlov has 12 goals and 21 assists. Five goals and 16 assists came in 16 games against Florida in the past two seasons. That ain't shabby.

-- A lot of recent former Panthers are still on the market. Of all the members of the 2005-07 Panthers who hit the free agent market on July 1, only Todd Bertuzzi and Jon Sim (Islanders) has signed on with another team. The list of available, recent former Panthers still available include: Juraj Kolnik, Ric Jackman, Alex Auld, Ed Belfour, Alexei Semenov, Sean Hill, Jamie McLennan, Martin Gelinas, etc.

-- One of hockey's best characters announced his retirement yesterday. Jeremy Roenick announced his retirement by text-messaging old buddy Tim Panaccio of the Philly Inquirer. "Is this still news,'' Roenick joked. While opponents -- and fans of teams that opposed him -- hated him, Roenick was good for the game. Good for a quote. Just fun to be around, well, for the most part. Read Panach's story on Roenick RIGHT HERE

-- Newark Star-Ledger says Devils close to deal with hard-shooting D Sheldon Souray. Nice pickup for the Devils if true. And, they're going to pay for it. Speaking of the Devils, the New York Post says John MacLean is finally going to get his chance to coach the Devils. MacLean has been an assistant for the Devils since 2002 but has been passed over the top job the past two times it has been open. Former Devils coach Larry Robinson is going to MacLean's assistant.

-- FYI: Steve Montador has filed for salary arbitration. Betting 50 bucks the two sides settle before then.

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George, next time you and Eklund chat, as he says you always do, ask him what NHL teams he worked for as he used to tell his followers. And ask him when he graduated from McGill Univeristy in Montreal as he stated.
He won't respond to me.

I have never spoken with Mr. Eklund, as far as I know. I have seen him at various events like the All-Star Game and the draft, but aside from the usual pleasantries in passing, we have never spoken. Seems like a nice enough guy but I don't know anything about his past employment or education.

George, I suggest you head on over to Kukla's Korner if you want to read up on Eklund. This guy is a bigger windbag than Nick Saban. Plus, he is one of the nastiest guys in the hockey blogging business.

oh god no. i loved jovo when he was here but he has been nothing short of a disaster the last few years. while he does add an offensive dimension and physical presence on the backline, his defensive play is as erratic as it comes. he's abysmal in his own end and we don't need that - especially at the price. add in the injuries he's had...huge no thanks from me. i'd rather invest that money and sign Bouwmeester for the next 10+ years if possible.

if the panthers are thinking about investing that type of money in someone, it should be in a top line winger to play with jokinen. slava kozlov would have been perfect and he only got $3.6 per season - a bargain. same goes for ladislav nagy.

shanahan or guerin would be awfully nice if the term was short (1-2 years..)

To: Alex

Finally someone down in South Florida that realizes the Panthers don't need a 6.5 million dollar older defensmen that is good but just not worth it for the Panthers.

Martin is too smart to mortgage this growing team for an aging and declining Jovo Cop. Going down memory lane is nice, but Jovo got a ridiculous contract (even by today's standards) for what he is producing on the ice. I'd rather see that money go to locking up Bouwmeester, who IMO is currently a better and more complete player than Jovo, for the long haul.

His wife being from Boca and their home there makes no difference, it's all about the money with Jovo. Keenan offered him a 5 year, 25 million dollar contract right George? With no state income tax he still chose to play across the country for more money. That's the bottom line.

I wouldn't trade anything for Jovo given his cap hit over the next 4 years. No thanks, Gretzky. Keep your own crappy signing and deal with it.

A big NO-GO with JO-VO !!!! Panthers should not spend that money AND lose players for a deal like that. Let some other team eat that contract. He went for the money a year ago...let him stay out in the desert. I like our defense. And...what's with Montador going salary arbitration...he's LUCKY the Panthers even qualified him...I thought for sure he was out of here. I'd rather have Rick Jackman.

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