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Salo says goodbye

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VANCOUVER -- Defenceman Sami Salo released a statement Monday through his new Tampa Bay Lightning team thanking the Vancouver Canucks and their fans.

"I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Canucks ownership, management and coaches for the opportunity to have been a part of such wonderful organization," Salo said.

"I would like to thank my teammates for the friendship, hard-fought battles, and all of their support over the years. Most importantly, I would like to thank the fans in Vancouver for their support. I was not always a perfect player, but I always gave my best and I appreciate the way the fans treated me."

Salo, who became an unrestricted free agent Sunday morning, signed a two-year contract worth $3.75 million a season with the Lightning on Sunday.

He had spent nine seasons with the Canucks. Salo scored nine goals and had 25 points last season, when he logged 69 games.

"It is an honor and a privilege to have been able to call myself a Vancouver Canuck and I wish everyone associated with the organization the best of the luck," Salo said in his statement. "Thank you."

Canuck general manager Mike Gillis paid tribute to Salo on Sunday.

"Sami was an excellent hockey player, but was an even better person," Gillis said. "We are going to miss him a lot, but where we are today and what we are trying to do, the most on term we could go was one year. I think Sami has made a wonderful deal for himself and his family moving forward and I wish him the best of luck. I hope he stays healthy and does well."

Salo, who turns 38 in September, became expendable when the Canucks signed free agent defenceman Jason Garrison on Sunday.

Sami Salo to Vancouver Canucks and their fans: 'Thank you'

'I was not always a perfect player, but I always gave my best'

Read more: http://www.vancouver...l#ixzz1zUnYqWTy

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Wish him nothing but the best, one of my all time favorite Canucks, been a pleasure watching him play in a Canucks uniform for the last 10 seasons.

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Good luck Sami!!! I hope you have a full healthy season this year and see you in the finals!! haha well.....

Our D would miss you alot because it's JUST not the same without you anchoring them.

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Man, now Tampa has 2 of my favourite Canucks of all time!

Happy for him, he got a great deal from Tampa.

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God damn I'm going to miss Salo. Good luck with Tampa Sami!!!!!! Hopefully there isn't a lockout so we can give him the tribute he deserves on October 28th.

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One of the classiest players in the NHL.

Will miss his calmness and blast on the PP.

All the best, Sami!!!

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Sami was a warrior. He battled hard for us and I hope Canuck nation remembers all that he brought to our blue line. WE will miss you SAMI :)

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I'm just happy he's going to play with his friend Mattias! It would stink going to a completely new market, living in a new country and not knowing anybody.

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Pure effing CLASS! God I miss him already

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