Garrison might be a Ballard 2.0 event. He hasn't played one game in a Canucks uniform yet and had only one successful season so far and that, with the Florida Panthers nontheless. Garrison in Vancouver is as a crap shoot as acquiring Ballard. I'd certainly take one Phaneuf (6.500 MIL) over Ballard and Garrison (8.800 MIL).
Garrison's not entirely comparable to Ballard because if for some reason he didn't produce offensively or earn power play time he'd still be a very solid defensive player. Granted he'd be overpaid if he ended up being used on the 3rd line but he'd at least be useful.
Ballard hasn't been useful for the most part, even if he has had some good stretches of play, but he isn't built as much for strictly defensive play and needs his strengths as a puck moving, hip checking defenceman to earn his keep effectively. He still has upside but has limited opportunity here.
Garrison is more comparable to Willie Mitchell, who had a $3.5M cap hit while he was here but was never an offensive threat with a big slapshot even when he did put up a string of points. Garrison has that offensive capability (plus the big slapshot) similar to Hamhuis - you don't expect high production but he's likely to put up reasonable points while being extremely sound defensively. Garrison is also a larger, stronger player.
In terms of Moneyball practice where specific statistical detail is analyzed, it is possible to "pad stats" by playing a player in specific situations but most of all, avoiding playing said player in other, less desired situations. For example, the Sedins' +/-'s, would be much worst if they were to kill penalties for it is more frequent to be scored on then to score on a Penalty Kill. They are also the first ones called upon for PPs, where the chances to score far outweigh PK and 5 on 5 play. As well, keeping the Sedins off the PK keeps them fresh for the PP as well as 5 on 5, thereby further increasing their chance to score. Essentially, this is Moneyball stat padding, which does not work in the playoffs.
On another, totally irrelevant note, a team expecting to "make them pay on the power play" will ultimately fail in the playoffs as penalty calls are drastically reduced, some times even inexistent. The Canucks better get some mean nasty players who play the game not between whittles but between the lines of what is accepted and what isn't. I did not see Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or L.A. play between whistles nor play a straigh hockey game. The Canucks must regroup, team up for each other, stop trying to do the referees' job and play nasty Canucks hockey. As of now, they are an open book and some outside of Vancouver claim they're even the laughing stock of the game.
While I understand the idea you're getting at, a better comparison would be to have the Sedins have less offensive starts than they do since playing on the penalty kill wouldn't affect their plus/minus at all. Plus/minus events aren't generated in odd-man situations. We absolutely did so with Cody Hodgson to increase his trade value, although we aren't looking to trade the Sedin's but rather capitalize on their offensive talent.
While I don't agree nasty hockey is specifically necessary, we do have to adjust to the way the playoffs are different from the regular season. Intensity level and competitiveness may be more useful than cheap shots and face washes, as they aren't mutually inclusive. The trick is to find a way for us to be successful considering the team we have, not the team other teams have.
Edited by elvis15, 16 November 2012 - 06:19 PM.