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Article- Jason Garrison

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An actual good and positive article by Ian Macintyre

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/07/03/jason-garrison-is-worth-the-money-for-canucks/

VANCOUVER – After the beloved player who got away and the coveted one who wouldn’t come, Jason Garrison is an exciting, albeit expensive, catch for the Vancouver Canucks.

Garrison is no Justin Schultz, the 22-year-old college free agent who spurned the Canucks and 24 other suitors and chose Saturday to join the Edmonton Oilers because he cares more about with whom he plays than where he lives. Schultz may be headed for stardom, but he has the values of a pure hockey player and we admire him for that.

In the short-term, for a team trying to win a Stanley Cup next season, Garrison delivers more National Hockey League certainty than any rookie.

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No one in his right mind, however, would choose Garrison over Schultz long-term. But nearly everyone would take him over Sami Salo, the popular and loyal Canuck servant who left Sunday as a free agent with the same class he displayed on Vancouver ice the last 10 years.

In the end, the Canucks didn’t have a choice. Schultz had the choice and signed with the Oilers and Salo had the choice and signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning. So the Canucks adjusted on the fly to the free-agent tilt-a-whirl and signed Garrison to a six-year deal for US$4.6-million annually.

You are in or you’re out in free agency. There’s no safe medium on the opening weekend, no way to hedge bets. The Canucks went all-in on Garrison, a 27-year-old from White Rock who has played only two full NHL seasons, and ended the Canada Day weekend no less a Stanley Cup contender than they were.

There are a lot of comparable elements between Garrison and Salo, but one player is 27 and the other 37, which is why the Canucks would have matched the US$3.75-million salary the Lightning gave Salo but not the two-year term Tampa offered.

So the Canucks reconfigured their top four on defence to Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler and Garrison. And by doing so, they continued the subtle rebranding of the team that began last week when the royal succession in goal was formalized with the re-signing of Cory Schneider.

The rebranding will be a little more obvious when the Canucks get around to trading deposed starter Roberto Luongo, although they’ll have to lower the asking price for the 33-year-old account receivable (Luongo is due more than US$42-million over the next six years) or wait for the Florida Panthers or Toronto Maple Leafs to blink.

Even if the core group at forward remains unchanged, the Canucks won’t be the same-old, same-old Presidents’ Trophy-winning team that reports to training camp.

With two moves – Schneider over Luongo, Garrison instead of Salo – the Canucks got 17 years younger without sacrificing performance.

General manager Mike Gillis still needs another combative defenceman for depth and more size and toughness on the bottom two forward lines. He can get those players during the summer. He needed to get Garrison now, and he did.

The weekend could have been much worse for the Canucks after it began with Schultz, who is from Kelowna, stunning cynics and snobs by choosing to play with contemporaries Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on what was the NHL’s second-worst team last season. A lot of people seemed to think Schultz-to-the-Canucks was a done deal.

“Are we disappointed?” Canuck assistant general Laurence Gilman said Monday. “Sure, we were. But there were 25 other disappointed teams and we made it to the final two or three. Justin Schultz didn’t leave us at the altar. We made the best pitch we could. He listened and conducted himself with a lot of class, then chose another team. That happens in hockey.”

Gilman echoed Gillis’ comments from the previous day, praising Salo’s character and his service to the Canucks and wished the veteran well in Tampa.

Salo, who is at his summer cabin deep in the Finnish woods, reciprocated through a statement released Monday by agent Bill Zito.

“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. “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.”

He may not, however, have appreciated the way the Canucks treated him a year ago when Salo, after a comeback that followed a career-threatening Achilles injury, had to wait until July 1 to re-sign and received only a bargain-basement one-year contract of US$2-million. Whether that hardened his resolve to seek a more generous offer this year is unknown, but at some point nearly every aging player leaves. Such was the case with Markus Naslund in 2008 and Mattias Ohlund in 2009.

Maybe Garrison, a former B.C. Hockey League star in Nanaimo who was never drafted, will play 10 years in Vancouver. He is five months younger than Salo was when the Canucks acquired him in 2002.

“It was a team that I originally wanted to play for,” Garrison said Monday in a conference call. “I think the fit was important and the chance of winning. Vancouver has had a winning team for many years and I hope to come and play and just fit myself into the lineup and help the team win.

“I definitely kind of developed my game later than most guys. I think hard work is a big part of that. That is kind of how I was raised and the mentality that I have. I think that will help coming into a situation like this. I have to work even harder than before.”

And be just as good as Salo.

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Good read, love Garrisons enthusiasm, it seems like he really wants to be here which is a good thing. Not going to expect as much offense as last year, but i do expect him to be a good hard nosed defenseman who can shut down some pretty good players. Him being 6'2'' 220 lbs definitely makes us bigger on the blue line too which doesn't hurt.

Are we better than we were with Salo? Time will tell, but i would say yes.

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Sweet article. Sami is a class act and a fantastic person. I am excited to see what Jason is going to bring to the floor for the Canucks and hopefully is a piece in the puzzle to bringing a Cup home.

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Besides his hard shot, could someone tell me what are his strenghts?

Is he a good skater? Does he fight when needed? etc.

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With two moves – Schneider over Luongo, Garrison instead of Salo – the Canucks got 17 years younger without sacrificing performance.
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Can't wait for the puck to drop on that first game against Calgary!!

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Besides his hard shot, could someone tell me what are his strenghts?

Is he a good skater? Does he fight when needed? etc.

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Besides his hard shot, could someone tell me what are his strenghts?

Is he a good skater? Does he fight when needed? etc.

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Besides his hard shot, could someone tell me what are his strenghts?

Is he a good skater? Does he fight when needed? etc.

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Besides his hard shot, could someone tell me what are his strenghts?

Is he a good skater? Does he fight when needed? etc.

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His game is the perfect definition of two-way defenceman:

- great shot and creativity on offence, can qb the pp, will jump into rush when necessary

- reliable, physical, hard to play against in his own end

I'd say he is quite similar to hammer.

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One fight in his entire nhl career and lost that one to Malhotra. So no, he's not a tough or aggressive guy. Like Salo is quite accurate!!

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It sounds like a good compliment to Edler on the PP.

He sounds like the perfect compliment to Ballard 5 on 5? It would be Vancouver's most physically gifted (think speed) pairing, and his style would let Ballard rush the puck, then drop it back to the point for a bomb! That's something Ballard has not had the luxury of with the Canucks.

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i read this article earlier today..

why would "nobody choose garrison over schultz in the long run"!?!?!? the unproven college defenceman vs. a guy who scored 16 goals in a season against the best players in the world??? seriously, maybe im reading into this too much, but WTF!

sure shultz is hyped, but hes yet to put on an nhl uniform, LET ALONE be rated as better than garrison - and when his contract expires, i highly doubt he's going to be asking for a modest raise....

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I think he'll be good here. But man, I wish we could have kept Salo here.

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Right decision to let Salo walk. Teams can't pay guys based on the past, at a certain point age catches up with everyone.

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