Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/25/12 at 12:46 AM ET
from Jim Matheson of the Edmoton Journal,
• The line’s forming to the right for Florida UFA defenceman Jason Garrison, who has 16 goals, second only to Erik Karlsson. The Panthers have offered $2.5 million a year, but he’s barely given the offer the time of day after making $600,000 this year. The feeling is he figures he can get $4 million on the open market. Should the Oilers be in the hunt? Yes, but with reservations. They could use somebody to pound the puck — he’s a shooter not a passer, playing with Brian Campbell which gives him the leeway to fire away — but there are niggling concerns.
“He’s a No. 5 defenceman,” said one NHL team executive. Plus, he’s only lit it up for one year. There’s no body of work here. That said, it’s a very shallow free-agent market for blue-liners, so he’s holding all the cards. Garrison is six-foot-two and 220lbs, but not physical. He’s only 27, from Vancouver. The Oilers are probably on the hunt.
• Yzerman has wheeled and dealed to get two first-round and four second-round picks in the June draft, all with an eye on going after a young goalie. It’s fair to say goaltending is the No. 1 priority for the Lightning?
“Either we stop more or we score more, one of the two,” Yzerman said. “And if we’re going to score more we better score a lot more.”
Would the player they’re looking at be Schneider?
“Mathieu Schneider?” Yzerman said, winking.
The Lightning and the Blue Jackets are both assembling war chests to go after Luongo’s right-hand man, Cory Schneider, although sources say Yzerman is also keeping a serious eye on Quick’s backup Jonathan Bernier. Why? Because Tampa Bay’s head of amateur scouting, Al Murray, used to work for the Kings and was behind them taking Bernier in Round 1.
much more including a look at Team Canada, 2014…
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