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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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