July 05 2012 10:01AM
When it became obvious that the Canucks weren’t willing to give Sami Salo a contract longer than one year, he did what any logical human being would and accepted Tampa Bay’s more generous two-year, $7.5 million contract offer.
Sami was a warrior during his tenure with the Canucks. The word warrior gets tossed around too much in pro sports, but we are talking about a guy whose injury history reads like that of a professional stuntman. Salo’s testicular region was on the receiving end of a 100 mile-per-hour slap shot from Duncan Keith, and it didn’t even cause him to miss a game. He has torn muscles, cracked bones, dislocated limbs, suffered concussions, and been bitten by snakes (well only one snake, but I’m sure if you dig deep enough you will find another snake bite incident in his life, in addition to the metaphorical one).
Salo leaves the Canucks as one of the best defensemen in the history of the organization. Even with the immense number of games he has missed, he still ranks statistically among the best the organization has ever seen:
- 5th in points with 236
- 3rd in goals with 74
- 1st in game-winning goals with 20
- 3rd in shots on goal with 1078 (I’d wager 1070 of them of the slap shot variety)
- 1st in power play goals with 48
- 1st in postseason games played with 74
- 1st (tied) in postseason goals with 9
- 1st in awkward goal celebrations
Salo’s tenure in Vancouver was filled with many memorable goals and highlights. Let’s count down 10 of the best after the jump.
July 04 2012 01:58PM
About a minute after my post on Province Sports about Jason Garrison went live, I got a barrage of texts from resident blog chief Thomas Drance:
"You kidding me?"
"5 Garrison goals"
"You expect JG to score 5 goals"
"Wrote it today"
"Least well thought out thing you've written in a while!"
Obviously I pride myself in thinking out at least half the things I write, but I calmly explained by reasoning. For one, I never stated that Garrison would score "5 goals". I wrote "upwards of five". The second thing to note is that I think five goals is a lot of goals for a defenceman.
July 04 2012 12:17PM
Over the course of this morning, speculation grew and grew that Minnesota would be the landing spot for coveted free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Then it happened, leaving most Canucks fans to wake up and discover that Independence Day had been cancelled, and the Wild had stolen the show.
Parise and Suter are two players whose statistical influence matches the narrative that surrounds them; both are said to be fantastic hockey players, and the numbers back this up 100 per cent. They have played tough, tough minutes in their careers and have succeeded while doing so.
Do the additions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter make the Wild the Canucks' chief rival for Northwest Division supremacy? Let's have a look see...
July 03 2012 02:46PM
That's pretty much all you need to know right there. The freer you are, the more expensive you become. Just ask Ryan Suter or Zach Parise.
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.