Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/29/12 at 12:19 PM ET
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Jason Garrison knows the Justin Schultz factor and the roster priorities for the Florida Panthers. He knows of those Roberto Luongo trade rumours and that his own skyrocketing value in unrestricted free agency could quash an NHL dream.
The White Rock native would savour suiting up for the Vancouver Canucks, the club he idolized while playing minor hockey in Burnaby, Aldergrove and Semiahmoo. However, after a 16-goal season in which the defenceman earned $700,000 US, he’s on the cusp of sending most suitors into sticker shock when the real tire-kicking starts Sunday. If blueliner Dennis Wideman, 29, turned 11 goals and 46 points with the Washington Capitals into a five-year, $26.25-million deal with the Calgary Flames on Wednesday to avoid being a UFA, then what can Garrison, 27, expect after ranking third among NHL blueliners behind Shea Weber and Erik Karlsson, who had 19 goals apiece?
The answer is a lot, maybe as much as Wideman. If it’s less, then he will warrant more than just limited curiosity.
“You definitely want it to be a good fit,” Garrison said Thursday from Chicago where he attended NHLPA meetings. “You don’t want to go somewhere just for financial purposes. You want the fit, play the minutes and play a role that you know you can play and obviously have a chance of winning. I’ll take everything into consideration, for sure.”
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