With the 2011-12 season sadly in the rear-view window, it’s once again time for The Rat Trick to take a look back at those who had the biggest impact on the the Florida Panthers. Over the coming days, we’ll look at review everyone who had key roles in the past season and give them the dreaded letter grade
Jason Garrison is an undrafted free agent who signed with the Panthers on April 2nd 2008. As he began playing more and more games with the Cats, his play has improved. The 2011-2012 season served as a breakout year for Jason. Let’s take a look at what was a tremendous season.
Games Played: 77
At the start of the 2011-2012 season, Jason Garrison had a lot to prove to the hockey world. With his contract being up at the end of the season, he knew coming in that he must have a breakout year, and he did just that. Garrison began the season off with a bang, scoring four goals in the team’s first ten games. This kind of play was shocking as he was not seen as a scoring threat. However with a much improved and powerful slap shot, scoring became a constant for Garrison.
As we got deeper into what was an exciting NHL season, Jason continued improving. With a bigger role in coach Kevin Dineen’s scheme, Garrison was excelling. Despite being one of the lowest paid players on the team this past season, Jason focused on what were most important, winning games.
With the season continuing on, Garrison found his role with the team increase as he became an everday starter along with fellow defencemen Brian Campbell. With a much improved Garrison, the team now had multiple defenders that can not only play fantastic defense, but also be a major factor in the team’s offense. The Panthers, were very happy with the play of Jason as it continued to help translate into wins.
Jason Garrison accumulated for a total of 33 points this past season, which gave him the 5th most points for a Panthers player during the regular season. Garrison also turned into a very good special teams player, as he had three power player assist to go with a career best nine power play goals On March 23rd, 2012, Jason Garrison scored his 16th goal of the season. Not only was this a personal best, but it also gave Garrison the record for most goals scored by a defencemen in Florida Panthers history. Not only was his offense clicking on all cylinders throughout the season, but his defensive play was much improved as well. A much more motivated Garrison came out of the gate ready to play, and with his defense being severely improved, Garrison slowly began turning into a great 2-way defender.
Season Grade: A-
Being where he was the past few season, Garrison clearly was ready to take a hold of this defense for this past season and the future. With his contract now expired, it will be interesting to see what the Panthers will do with Jason. I believe that they need to bring him back with a nice contract. He has definitely deserved it after the season he just had. With his new found offense with his great slap shot along with his above average defense, Garrison is slowly becoming one of the better 2-way defenders in the league. If the Panthers fail to lock Garrison up long-term, they would be making a huge mistake as he has brought something to this team that hasn’t been seen since Jay Bouwmeester. Panther fans are hoping that Garrison continues to improve his game as he has become not only a fan favorite, but also a huge part of what this team does.
Thanks For Reading Everyone!
Follow The Rat Pack on Twitter! Me: @justenrosenberg, Frank Rekas: @TheRatTrick Josh Luecht: @joshluecht, Patrick McLaughlin: @PatrickRattrick, Scott Mullin: @GreatScottsman, David Rodriguez: @davidbub_2, Paige Lewis: @peejlewiz, Adam Reid: @AdamReid_, Gabby Kiger: @gabbykiger, Chrissy Parente: @Chrissaay44, and Amanda Land: @HockeyGirl2530. Also, please visit our Facebook Fan Page and like us! Share comments, photos, anything Panthers related!