The #Oilers have signed Jason Garrison to a professional tryout. The veteran defenceman has played 538 @NHL regular season games over 10 seasons, recording 159 points (48G, 111A) along with a +22 rating. pic.twitter.com/wN4dGI3D5B— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) August 28, 2018
The Oilers made some waves today when they signed left defenceman Jason Garrison to a professional try-out.
Garrison will be 34 in November. He played eight games with Vegas last season, he spent the rest of 2017-18 with their AHL club in Chicago (8-20-28 in 58 GP). At first blush, I was a little surprised to see the Oilers pick up another defenceman to play on the left side.
FIGHTING FOR SPACE
Garrison is fighting to continue his career after finishing the last of a six year deal. He’d almost certainly be the bottom pair guy on the left side should he make the club. I’m a little surprised that the Oilers went down this path, any other year I would’ve expected the Jakub Jerabek signing to have been the final move before the new season. We’re going to assume that Darnell Nurse is going to sign a bridge deal here in the coming days and that Oscar Klefbom will be ready to go on the top pair. This leaves Jerabek along with Ethan Bear, Kevin Gravel and Garrison to fight for time on 3LD. (I’ve got Gravel ahead of Bear right now)
If Darnell Nurse isn’t signed three weeks from today, we’ve got other issues altogether.
WHY WOULD THE OILERS SIGN GARRISON?
He’d be an inexpensive third pair defenceman with a powerful shot. His speed (or lack thereof) would be the most immediate concern, and he’s not going to get any faster at this point in his professional career. That’s not to say that he wouldn’t be a useful addition, but the Oilers would certainly be aware that he would need to play limited numbers against the opposition’s top lines.
Garrison joins a handful of Oilers jockeying for position on the bottom pair. It’s a low risk bet by Peter Chiarelli. We’ll see how long Jason Garrison can make it last.