Defenseman Jason Garrison wasn’t a headache for the Vancouver Canucks, but his contract increasingly was for GM Jim Benning: $4.6 million against the cap through 2018, a free-agent deal to which Mike Gillis signed him in 2012.
Like the Ryan Kesler trade earlier on Friday, Benning needed Garrison to waive his no-trade clause to complete a transaction. Unlike Kesler, Garrison wasn’t exactly willing to leave Vancouver, at least initially. So Benning had to find a palatable place for which Garrison would waive his right to block a deal -- and that place ended up being where he began his NHL career.
Well, at least the same state where he did ...
The former Florida Panthers defenseman is now a Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman, as the Canucks acquired the No. 50 overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft for Garrison, the rights to University of Notre Dame player Jeff Costello and a seventh-round pick in 2015.
Garrison had 33 points in 81 games last season, but his possession numbers cratered under coach John Tortorella. He joins a Lightning team that could use his shot on the power play (although he’s yet another lefty) but one that now has three defensemen – Matt Carle, Garrison and Victor Hedman – eating up $14.1 million in cap space through 2017.
With Garrison gone, expect Chris Tanev to see increased ice time for Vancouver.
Kesler gone, Garrison gone … good to see Trevor Linden and Jim Benning hitting the ground running in Vancouver.