Out with OLD in with NEW
The Canucks‘ blueline has seemed like a work in progress every year during the Mike Gillis regime, and the 2012/2013 season will be no different.
We’ve known for weeks that Aaron Rome was thrown out on the curb, but few saw Sami Salo retiring to Florida.
Rome has been a whipping boy for years, firmly planted in the fan’s doghouse for his seeming inability to to be put in Alain Vigneault’s.
There was nothing inherently wrong with Rome’s safe play, but it was frustrating to see a guy constantly chip and dump his way into the top four.
Rome was either thrown into a top-four role in hindrance of Keith Ballard or forced into the top-four due to the ineptitude of Ballard.
It’s hard to say with the enigmatic Ballard.
Rome’s defining moment in Vancouver is easily his ill-advised KO of Nathan Horton in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals that marked the moment when everything started to go horribly wrong.
For a happier memory, there’s also his four game point streak in November of last year where he enjoyed a love-in not seen in this town since Jeff Cowan.
But aside from those instances, there won’t be many tears shed for Aaron Rome, and when Dallas comes to town for the first time next year, the sentiment will probably be more of “oh yeah Aaron Rome”.
His highly-improbable-unlikely-replacement could well be Derek Joslin.
NWSB will have more on the Joslin signing when we hear official word from the home office. (It will most likely be posted on the Canucks forum)
In any case I can already here you yelling “Get the pitchforks out boys!”
So Long Sami
Meanwhile, the biggest shock of July 1 was the departure of Sami Salo, who capped his career in Vancouver of breaking his body by breaking all of our hearts.
Before the terms were disclosed, this was a gut-punch on the level of a beloved pet dying.
The Finnish Macinnis was an idol to many for his ability to keep getting up no matter what part of his body happened to be falling off on any given day. His perseverance was the epitome of this whole ‘Heart of a Canuck’ marketing campaign.
If not for the money, you would think/hope Salo would have retired a Canuck. It’s criminal he won’t, but such is sports.
Take good care of him Tampa.
We’ll miss him.
Salo’s replacement comes in the form of White Rock native Jason Garrison, who signed with the Canucks in perhaps the least shocking news of July 1 unless you were invested in earlier reports that the Canucks were priced out by Garrison’s demands of upwards of $6.5 million.
Considering the deal he did sign for, it’s unlikely Garrison was actually seeing tangible offers around that number, or perhaps his desire to come home was the ultimate drive.
Either way, his bomb on the powerplay will be very welcome to fill Salo’s departure. There is concern that his goal totals were inflated by playing with Brian Campbell but last I checked Alex Edler is pretty decent himself.
There is the caution of what exactly the future will hold for the late-blooming Garrison, but indications are that while he may have had a career year offensively, his defensive play is quite underrated and could carry his career here.
He’s not a physical type, but neither was Sami Salo.
If he can effectively replace Salo on the blueline while being about a decade younger and much much healthier, this contract is a win for Vancouver.
Meet the new Canucks blueline, same as it ever was.