July 03 2012 01:43PM
Newly minted Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison was, like many of Mike Gillis' recent draft picks, a "late bloomer." Garrison went undrafted and didn't even break into the NHL until he was 24. At 27 (he'll turn 28 before the beginning of the 2012/13 season) he's only played two and a half seasons of NHL hockey, and needless to say that isn't the deepest track record for a guy who was just signed to a six year deal...
In his first half season in the NHL (2009/10), Garrison was a sheltered third pairing defenseman who got his teeth kicked in by NHL competition. In his first full season (2010/11) he played extremely tough minutes in a shutdown role with Mike Weaver, one of the most under-rated players in the league, and fared extraordinarily well against top-level competition. Then last season (2011/12), Garrison received the gift of playing full-time with Brian Campbell, an extraordinary offensive talent, in a contract year. His offensive production exploded.
So how will Garrison fare in Vancouver without Brian Campbell on his left-side? Was his 16 goal season a mirage? Also, how responsible were Weaver and Campbell for Garrison's success over the past two seasons?
These questions are pertinent - the Canucks just made a significant commitment to Garrison (six years and a full no-trade clause). In the minds of many Canucks fans, and observers around the league: Jason Garrison, the White Rock native with the staggeringly powerful point shot still has a lot to prove. So let's wade into the data and see what the numbers can tell us about Garrison's play the past two seasons, and his offensive breakout last year.
July 02 2012 09:39AM
'Twas the night before a frenzy and all through the league, every pundit was prepping for long weekend fatigue...
The big day turned out to be rather uneventful, with only a few notable names finding homes. That said, it was a good weekend for the Edmonton Oilers - they won the Schultz sweepstakes and retained the still very effective Ryan Smyth on an extremely reasonable deal. Those additions and others across the Nation were set-up and discussed yesterday by LT and a wide range of guests, including Terry Jones, Tom Lynn and Bruce McCurdy.
This is Nation Radio.
July 02 2012 09:36AM
After allowing Vernon born forward Andrew Ebbett to hit the open market yesterday, today Mike Gillis and the Canucks reeled the journeyman back in with a one year, two-way contract worth 600k in the show, and 300k in the American Hockey League. As per Darren Dreger:
Andrew Ebbett signs with Vancouver - 2 way deal 600/300.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 2, 2012
Andrew Ebbett is a depth forward, but he's a particular type of depth forward in that he can legitimately handle a top-six role over the short-term. While he's not a world beater, or a point-per game player in your top-six, he can help your second line outshoot their opponents and be reasonably productive in that spot. Last season he contributed five goals in eighteen games (something of a mirage, seeing as how he shot 18.5%) but in 2008/09 he played 48 games on Anaheim's second line (mostly with Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne) and chipped in 32 points.
Read past the jump for more.
July 01 2012 06:20PM
Garrison is indeed a Canuck.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2012
Despite reports from earlier in the day that the Canucks had been "priced out" of the Jason Garrison bidding, it appears that the Mike Gillis has landed the highly coveted former Panther. Jason Garrison, a native of White Rock British Columbia, will help satisfy both the team's need for a top-four defenseman, and placate those among us who possess raging Sea-to-Sky boners for any B.C. born defenseman. Here's the official media release from Canucks.nhl.com.
Not only did Mike Gillis get one of the best defenseman on the market under contract, but he also managed to do so with a perfectly reasonable cap-hit, as per Darren Dreger:
6 years, $4.6 aav for Garrison in Van.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2012
The contract is worth 27.6 million over the next 6 seasons, for an average hit of 4.6 million. Consider that Sami Salo, who is 38 years old, scored 9 fewer goals than Garrison did last season, and has a medical record the length of the Nile will carry a cap-hit only 850k below Garrison's that's a big win for Mike Gillis. Or consider that Dennis Wideman will make well over 500k more than Garrison next season. Hilarious.
Click past the jump for more analysis.
July 01 2012 03:55PM
Gillis' inaction today bothered Canucks fans, who are quick to point out that, while the team has most of its high-end core locked up, the roster only managed to win one postseason game this Spring and is clearly in need of augmentation and improvement. To rub salt in the wound, the team lost out on Unrestricted Free-Agent defenseman Sami Salo, who has signed a two year deal worth 7.5 million dollars with the Tampa Bay Lightning:
Sammy Salo signed a two year deal with Tampa for $3.75m per year.— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) July 1, 2012
Sami Salo is a battler, and a very intelligent defenseman. He once took a Duncan Keith slap-shot in the balls during a playoff game, was taken to hospital, and returned to play in the very next game. Beyond that, Salo was a Canuck for 9 seasons and was a classy, low-key guy who led in the room, and carried himself well both on and off the ice. For his tenacity in always battling back from a myriad of injuries, for his loyalty to the organization, and for his persona in the community - he was beloved by the Canucks fan-base.
Read past the jump for more