NHL Free Agency 2012: Jason Garrison Signing Will Come Back to Haunt the Canucks

Jon Reid@@JonReidCSMCorrespondent IIJuly 8, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 17:  Jason Garrison #52 of the Florida Panthers skates with the puck in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Panthers won 4-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

We're now a full week into free agency, and most of the big-name free agents of 2012 have signed new contracts and found themselves a new place to call home (the exception being Shane Doan).

The Northwest Division was particularly busy this week, with the Flames inking Jiri Hudler and dealing for Dennis Wideman before re-upping him for five years, the Oilers landing marquee defenseman Justin Schultz, the Avalanche bringing in P.A. Parenteau and the Wild signing Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to matching mega-deals.

As for the Vancouver Canucks, their main priority this offseason was to replace Sami Salo and find some bottom-six forwards. After all, there's no need to alter a roster that has won two consecutive President's Trophies in a dramatic way.

Well, GM Mike Gillis wasted no time in addressing the loss of Sami Salo, when he went out and snagged free-agent blue-liner and British Columbia native Jason Garrison.

Garrison just wrapped up a season with the Florida Panthers, in which he tallied 33 points and a plus-six player rating and was only in the penalty box for 32 minutes.

Seems like a great signing, doesn't it?

Well, not so fast.

While there is no denying that Garrison's 16-goal 2011-12 campaign was, indeed, terrific, one has to question whether or not Garrison will ever see that type of success again.

Let's not forget that this past season, Garrison was receiving his feeds from one of the best passing defensemen in the NHL in Brian Campbell, who finished the season with an incredible 49 assists.

Then there's the fact that Garrison's past shows no sign of sustained success.

In fact, in Garrison's 112 career games before 2011-12, he'd only managed to collect 0.23 points per game.

This season, he put up 0.43 points per game.

Seems a little fishy.

Throw in the fact that he was playing in the final year of his deal with Florida, and Garrison seems like the ideal "bust" signing.

What's worse for Vancouver is that they gave him a six-year term on the new deal, meaning if Garrison does indeed flop like so many others who emerge out of nowhere in their contract years, Vancouver will be in serious trouble when it comes to their cap.

That could turn out to be a huge problem when it comes to re-sign the Sedin twins and Alex Burrows.

Canucks fans better hope that this past season was a true breakout campaign for Garrison and not just a flash-in-the-pan campaign.