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Numbers Game: Garrison goes to Tampa Bay

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Scott Cullen
6/27/2014 5:41:15 PM
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The Tampa Bay Lightning took advantage of the Vancouver Canucks' desire to shed a veteran defenceman.

Numbers Game looks at the deal sending Jason Garrison back to the state of Florida.

The Lighting Get: D Jason Garrison and LW Jeff Costello.

Garrison, 29, is a defenceman with good size and a cannon of a shot from the point who tied a career-high with 33 points last seasn and will be able to handle top-four minutes on the Tampa Bay defence.

Garrison has played more than 20 minutes per game in each of the past four seasons and, over the course of those four years, no defenceman has fired shots at a higher rate on the power play. Over the past three seasons, he ranks 15th among defencemen with 2.16 shots on goal per game and has missed a total of seven games, so he's been durable.

Last season wasn't Garrison's best, in terms of possession stats, but he's had positive possession numbers in the past, so last year shouldn't preclude him from being a useful part of the Tampa Bay defence.

In Tampa Bay, the Lightning really needed an upgrade on defence. Victor Hedman and Matt Carle were the only defencemen on the roster that averaged more than 20 minutes per game last season and Garrison will add stability, as well as a power play point threat, to that group.

Garrison had to waive his no-trade clause for the deal to go through, and he has four years, at a cap hit of $4.6-million, remaining on his contract. It's also not a bad deal for Tampa Bay since the contracdt was front-loaded, so the last four years come at a total cost of $15.6-million (an average of $3.9-million per season).

Costello is a 23-year-old winger who finished a four-year career at Notre Dame, scoring 82 points in 145 games. He was acquired from Ottawa at the trade deadline, but he's not signed and may be set to become a pro free agent after August 15.

The Lightning don't currently have much room on their reserve list, and the Canucks could also use the extra room in their attempts to acquire more players.

The Canucks Get: A second-round pick.

The 50th overall pick presents about a one-in-three chance of netting an NHL player. While it's useful to get an asset, the move is more about clearing room on the Vancouver blueline. Chris Tanev joins Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa and Alexander Edler in the top four on defence, and newly-acquired Luca Sbisa can pair with Ryan Stanton on the third pair, so there was room for the Canucks to move out an established NHL defenceman and, just as importantly move out the accompanying salary.

It's been a busy day, just leading up to the draft, for the Canucks, so there could very well be more to come but, what's been done establishes that Vancouver will be younger than they were last season, with financial flexibility to make moves this summer if they so choose.

With a new regime, it would come as no surprise if the Canucks continue to be active in their attempt to re-build the roster.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

Jason Garrison (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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