The postseason is over, some contracts are expiring, and now it’s time to get down to business. Panthers GM Dale Tallon knows this, so yesterday he sent a contract offer over Jason Garrison‘s way. The details are still unknown, but it certainly can be expected to be a hefty sum after the defenseman’s breakout year.
But don’t expect this signing to be quick and easy for the Panthers’ brass. Garrison and his agent could probably land a big contract somewhere else once July 1st comes around, when Garrison is able to be signed by other NHL teams. Ergo, in this period between now and that date, Garrison’s camp will certainly be jacking up the asking price. This will make for hairy negotiations, but a quote yesterday from Dale Tallon indicates that he’s prepared for this tough scenario:
We’re going to go right to the wire with this. We’ll see where it goes. We’re optimistic, but we have to have contingency plans just in case. We have young players who we’re going to have to count on sooner or later.
By the sound of it, Tallon will not let an albatross contract to Garrison shoot down the franchise. He hopes to sign him if the other side is reasonable, but based on yesterday’s news, things could get even tougher for Dale and the Panthers to make this contract relatively affordable.
Yesterday, super-Swede and offensive extraordinaire Erik Karlsson became a wealthy man, agreeing to a seven-year, $45.5 million deal with the Ottawa Senators. Although Karlsson’s numbers far exceed that of Jason Garrison’s, Jason’s camp will look at that deal as more of a guideline than something to be ignored.
The Panthers can’t be expected to pay Jason Garrison $6 million a year, so if things get to that point you can kiss him goodbye. Anything like the Senators’ recent contract would cripple the Panthers financially. With Kris Versteeg, Scott Clemmensen, and Dmitry Kulikov still on the docket for Dale Tallon, some money needs to be left over for the rest of the team. Not to mention whether or not Tallon wants to acquire another high-scoring forward via free agency: Dale doesn’t sit on his hands for an entire offseason. So even though we all love Garrison and his monster slap shot, consider the money involved and the future of this franchise. Dale is, and that’s why this contract negotiation will last for a few days.
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