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.
Last season, Jason Garrison scored 16 goals, and added 17 assists while playing on Brian Campbell’s right-side. He shot a ludicrous 9.6% in the regular seasons – a totally unsustainable number – and for the most part his point production is a mirage. Before you let your imagination run wild, know this: Jason Garrison is not a "power-play quarterback" and he is not, in all likelihood, a guy who will regularly score 10 goals per season or put up forty points.
What he does do, however, is post terrific possession numbers while bringing a degree of versatility to the blueline, which, the Canucks have lacked over the past several seasons. In 2010/11 he played the left-side with Mike Weaver, they were tasked with Florida’s most difficult minutes, and they combined to form one of the best, under-rated shutdown defensive pairings in the NHL. This past season, he bumped over to play the right-side on a more offensively oriented defensive pairing with Brian Campbell – and he produced offense, while tilting the ice in Florida’s favour. In short, Garrison is a swiss army knife blueliner, who can do a little bit of everything, and he brings with him an absolute cannonade point shot for good measure.
I figured before the offseason that if you were going to "buy high" in free-agency, you could do significantly worse than Jason Garrison – a guy who at least posted excellent underlying numbers over the past two seasons, and who brings a lot of versatility to the roster. Mike Gillis didn’t just make a good bet today, he legitimately convinced Jason Garrison to sign for significantly below market value as well. This is just a massive, massive win for the Canucks, and their General Manager.