Fantasy Impact: One year after refusing to sign Christian Ehrhoff to a long-term contract at a cap hit of $4 million, the Vancouver Canucks signed defenseman Jason Garrison to a six-year contract worth $27.6 million.... which is a cap hit of $4.6 million.
The Canucks get: an underrated defensive defenseman with offensive upside. Garrison has size (6-2, 218) and he uses it (127 Hits, 124 Blocked Shots). Offensively, he scored a whopping 16 goals thanks to his underrated shot, which he finally used a lot last season. However, 13 of those goals came in the first 46 games, after which he managed just three in 31.
Vancouver has a lot of faith in Garrison, and he will get every opportunity to put up the big points. And playing with Alexander Edler, he will certainly have a chance to top 12 goals again. But as the season goes on, I have a sneaking suspicion that the offense from the blue line will be led by Edler and Kevin Bieksa, not Edler and Garrison. So earlier on the Garrison offense will be better than the latter portion of the campaign.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Conversely, earlier on Bieksa will take a hit.
I can't stop thinking of the Ron Hainsey contract with Atlanta in 2008. They signed him after he posted 66 points in the prior two years with Columbus (which makes him twice as proven, offensively, as Garrison's numbers of one year), the Thrashers gave him over $5 million per year. That first year, they gave him every opportunity to become a PP quarterback and he had a career season of 39 points. It wouldn't shock me if Garrison copied that.
But then it became clear that Hainsey's best attributes were on the other side of the puck, and his offensive role waned. He posted 26, 19 and 10 points after that - another thing that wouldn't shock me if Garrison copied it. From a fantasy standpoint, Garrison is worth drafting. My gut tells me he'll get 25 points in the first half and maybe 15 in the second half. But will he become a consistent 35-point player? No. He'll be a defensive specialist by the third year of this contract, and at that point undraftable in fantasy leagues that don't count Hits.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order: