Ohlund also signed an RFA agreement when he was young and the Canucks had to make a decision to match. He got a $7.5 million dollar signing bonus on the offer from the Leaf's before he had ever played a game for us. Ohlund has always used the tools at his disposal to max out his contracts.
Its not fair to say that he took a discount.
In 2005, we also signed him to a $14 million dollar deal; a fair pay IMO for a solid but not dominating player. That was on par with Willie Mitchell, who was signed the next year for the same $3.5 mill per year for example. And they are not far apart in the caliber of value. My point is that he has never been poorly paid through his career.
And then Tampa offered him $25 mill, which was too high. I am sure they currently would buy him out before Lecavalier and quite seriously regret the move. A massive contract to a guy with chronic knee problems would have handcuffed us for years.
I also could not justify the contract just offered Salo. He did play very well the year before for a $2 mill salary, but also got that salary after missing 80% of the year prior to that drawing salary ($3.5 mill I believe) injured in a non hockey related injury. And as much as he played well for $2 mill; he also faded substantially from his 13 point in 13 game start; scoring 12 points in the next 54 games. His age and injury history makes it smarter to say congratulations, but let Sammy go rather than pay $7 mill over 2 years.
Garrison's cap hit will be lower than the combination of Rome and Salo's 2012/2013 UFA contracts and he effectively replaces them. I am happy with that swap.
Tampa needed experience and had cap space; but overpaid to lure guys who probably would have otherwise signed contracts at values which helped our team.
Ohlund was easily a top-10 defender in the NHL during his prime. He could have easily signed for 5-6+ million had he hit free agency. He was equally as good as Jovanovski and Jovo took the major payday whereas Ohlund stayed with the Canucks.
Not saying Mattias didn't earn good money, but everyone knows he could have earned way more. Even though Willie Mitchell signed for $3.5 million, it's because he took a hometown discount, plus he was a one-dimensional player who played positional defense. Ohlund was pretty much a 2-way defenseman who actually plays very physical.
While he did sign the RFA offersheet, the Canucks management at the time was a joke. He was about to re-enter the draft because the Canucks still didn't offer him a contract after 4 year drafting him. Signing the contract with the Leafs just gave the Canucks a swift kick to the bum which they deserved.
It wasn't too long ago when Kesler signed a offersheet when he has proven probably even less than Ohlund.
Even the $26.25 million contract signed by Ohlund, the cap hit is still only 3.75 per year. Bit pricey, but he is versatile. A defenseman who can play the 5/6th spot and can easily be a top-4 at any time. Much more reliable choice than having Aaron Rome, Andrew Alberts, Shane O'Brien, etc. He's also Edler's safety blanket apparently.
Knowing how the Canucks have been "easy" to play against physically, Ohlund would have certainly helped.
With Salo, similar situation as Ohlund. His only issues are injuries (some actually beyond his control like the puck to the face and Brad Marchand). With limited ice-time and as a PP specialist, he can easily be worth whatever TB is paying him. Although Edler also have strong slapshot, if you're down by 1 with 10 seconds left in the game, I'd rather see Sami with the one-timer than Alex Edler. Once again, he's also Edler's safety blanket.