The Canucks signed Jason Garrison the other day to a whopping 6 year $27.6 million deal. The response in the hours and days afterwards have been all over the map. Some see this as a gross overpayment of a player that had one lucky season, others see it as a case of the Canucks getting a player for less money than he could have had elsewhere. So where does the truth lie?
I have to admit, my initial reaction to this deal was mixed. After hearing the news that the Canucks had lost Sami Salo, they had to do something. They couldn’t afford to enter the season with Keith Ballard penciled in as their #4 defenceman. But making Jason Garrison, a player most people had never heard of before last season, their highest paid defenceman? That seemed like a bit much.
If there was such thing as a panic button in Vancouver it would be tromped on daily. People would be jumping, both knees touching their chin and landing both feet on to it alerting everyone that the Canucks are a mess and that it is in fact time to panic. This time last year the Canucks were a little over two weeks removed from losing the Stanley Cup. This year playoff hockey ended a lot earlier. The Canucks were bounced in five quick games by the eventual Cup winning LA Kings. This off-season the team is in a unique and not so familiar position. One that needs to be handled carefully and with a great deal of patience.
The Vancouver Canucks have signed Whiterock, BC native Jason Garrison to a six year, $27.6 million dollar contract. The contract carries a cap hit of $4.6 million per season, a figure that according to some is a lot less than he could have gotten. It’s believed he took less to play closer to home.
Entering the league as an undrafted 23 year old, Garrison has spent his entire four year professional career with the Florida Panthers. He’s also coming off of an impressive season where he was third in goals amongst defensemen with 16. Known for his size and powerful shot, Garrison will be a welcome addition to the Canucks power play after losing Sami Salo to the Tampa Bay Lightning during the firs day of free agency.
Second chances are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? One player who I would like to see in Vancouver providing Prust doesn’t sign with the Canucks is a good, solid character guy. He has a fine head of hair, he’s handsome and he has an awful first name. Tanner Glass.
Name: Tanner Glass
Size: 6’1″, 210 Lbs
Why the Canucks might want him: Tanner Glass is a player that the Canucks are very familiar with. He was well liked in the room and he was a classic character guy. Stood up for his team mates, could kill the occasional penalty and didn’t mind blocking shots. If Vancouver comes knocking, Glass likely answers and signs on the dotted line.
It’s your lucky day! Two! Two UFA of the Day posts today. They both deal with toughness, the first was Brandon Prust, now we turn our attention to Zenon Konopka.
Name: Zenon Konopka
Size: 6’0″, 209 Lbs
Why the Canucks might want him: If the Canucks target Zenon Konopka it wouldn’t just be for his ability to punch people in the face. With Konopka you not only get that size and toughness but you also get someone who can kill penalties and win face-offs. He’s a character guy and adds some toughness to a not so tough fourth line.
Today on this not so gorgeous Saturday I battle what is either the start of a cold, or a hangover. But either way, here is today’s UFA of the Day. It addresses something I haven’t written about yet. Toughness. Here is Brandon Prust in today’s UFA of the Day.
Name: Brandon Prust
Size: 6’2″, 192 Lbs
Why the Canucks might want him: Toughness. If you want to beef up that fourth line then I would say that Brand Prust is a great addition. He plays a simple game, he’s hard working and he stands up for his team mates. Not noted for his soft hands or goal scoring, he has been able to put a few pucks in the back of the net. He had 13 goals in 2010-2011. He kills penalties, too. Something not a lot of people would think he’s capable of. Not only does he kill penalties, but he occasionally chips in with a short handed goal now and again. In 2010-2011 he had five of them. Just two last season. He’s also a good locker room guy and he’s that interesting blend of toughness, tenacity (and dare I say truculence) that fourth lines seems to be having these days. Look at the Kings fourth line. Tough and hard to play against. In my opinion, that’s the model fourth line and I think Brandon Prust compliments that very nicely.
Today I decided to profile UFA defenceman Jason Garrison. There was a lot of buzz at the end of the Stanley Cup finals when Garrison said he would love to be a Vancouver Canuck. Without going balls out and getting the Orca tattooed on him, Garrison will patiently wait until July 1st to see if his boyhood dream will be come a reality.
Name: Jason Garrison
Size: 6’2″, 220 Lbs
Why the Canucks might want him: You can’t have too many defensemen with a nice hard shot like Garrison’s. Of his 16 goals last season, 9 of them were power play goals. He’s a big body who skates and handles the puck well. He contributes offensively without becoming a defensive liability. He can generate scoring chances and can quarterback the second power play unit. Another thing is that he can log some big minutes; last year in Florida he was averaging almost 24 minutes per game. The year before in 2010-2011 he was around 22 per game. He’s also a local boy who might be willing to take less to play closer to home. Ah, the old hometown discount.
Tonight at the Vancouver Canucks Summer Summit, Mike Gillis fielded questions from seasons ticket holders. He deflected questions regarding UFA defenceman Justin Schultz and the inevitable trade of the best goalie this franchise has ever seen. What seemed to catch everyone off guard was the announcement that the Canucks and RFA goalie Cory Schneider had agreed to a deal “in principle”. Gillis wouldn’t elaborate any further, but said “more news in the few days”.
Hey everyone, I wanted to take a break from the UFA of the Day and post something I thought was sort of interesting. If you can get through it and my child like spelling and grammar, then we’re going to be just fine. This is a little piece called “The case for reclamation”.
Reclamation projects; I hate them, Vancouver fans at this point have to hate them too, or at least not be “in like” with them. Why? Because it’s a way for management to bring a player in who at one point had a little bit of success and they’re trying to reignite that fire and at a discounted price, usually because they’ve been terrible since the “glory” season or seasons they had. Lets be honest though, it’s season, not seasons.
When I think of reclamation projects in the past the names that jump off the page to me are names like: Brad Isbister, Byron Ritchie, Jan Bulis and Marc Chouinard. That’s just a small sample. In recent years we’ve seen it with the likes of Peter “I’ve always got cotton mouth” Schaefer and last season with Marco Sturm. Needless to say, most of us know how each and every one of these situations ended in Vancouver. It wasn’t pretty.
Since Rob has let me blog for his site I’ve tried my best to sort of stay away from the really big name players, you know, the marquee guys. And while he hasn’t been the definition of a superstar I thought it would be appropriate to make today’s UFA of the Day Shane Doan.
Name: Shane Doan
Size: 6’1” 228 Lbs
Why the Canucks might want him: Not known for his end to end speed, amazing puck handling skills or shot that’s so fast it looks like the old fox colored puck when shot, Shane Doan is one of those players you have to at the very least kick the tires on when it’s known he’s going to July 1st. At 35 he still brings his lunch box to the rink every night. He’s big, he hits, he scores and when he has to, he’ll fight. Above all that he’s a leader and a quality one at that too. Something, no matter if you had Messier and Gretzky on your team, you would want. Shane Doan to me is that guy. He can play the wing on any of the top two, even three lines. He’s spent a large part of his career uninjured. The most time he’s missed in the last 13 years was 2010-2011 and it was 10 games. He also missed some time in the playoffs, but when I see a game or two missing here and there, spanning more than a decade, I’m ok with that. Not to mention it gives the power play some extra firepower.
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