PENGUINS FREE AGENCY UPDATE VI
The Pittsburgh Penguins focus is on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter but the Penguins have called about Jason Garrison’s asking price, an NHL source says. The Penguins according to a source feel Ryan Suter’s asking price might be too high at the end of the day and the team has at least checked into Garrison who the team I learned today has had interest in for several years, trying to sign him out of Minnesota Duluth in 2008. There is also a connection in management with Garrison as Penguin scout Randy Sexton was the assistant General Manager in Florida when Garrison signed with Panthers and and then named General Manager in Florida during Garrison’s first two seasons.
I don’t think Pittsburgh likes the price tag but I can confirm they have and are looking into him.
As for Ryan Suter it remains a slow process as his camp goes through all the offers. The Penguins made an initial offer of 10 years and Suter is seeking a 12-13 year deal. Pittsburgh is willing to go 12 years for Parise. I was told Pittsburgh is a little bit spooked by Suter’s demands and pursue others more aggressively.
Here’s a profile of Garrison
Jason Garrison – Age 27
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 218 lbs
2011-2012 Stats: 77 GP – 16 G – 17 A – 33 Pts – +6
2011-2012 Salary $700,000
Arguably the best bargain in the NHL last season, making just $700,000 and he’s in line for a major pay rise. Garrison who had 16 goals last season, 9 on the power and has a booming shot from the point. Teams looking to improve their power play and transition game will be all over him. Defensively he has good size and has meshed well with elite type defensemen, being a very good fit with Brian Campbell last season. Garrison last season averaged 23:41 of ice time per game, including 2:34 on the penalty kill, which was second among Panther defensemen. Garrison was also second among Panther defensemen with 127 hits and 124 blocked shots. He can give you a little bit of everything and Garrison’s camp is shooting for at least a five year, $25 million deal. There are some concerns that he’s a one year wonder as he’s played just two full NHL seasons but teams will be willing to throw big money at him.