Jason Garrison – Defenceman
Age: 28 | Height: 6’2” | Weight: 218 lbs
Birthdate: 13 Nov 1984 | Born: Burnaby, BC
Shoots: Left | Acquired: Signed as a
Free Agent by Vancouver on July 1, 2012
Before the NHL lockout, the Vancouver Canucks were among the league’s gossip mill in regards to trade rumours – Who was leaving? Who was going to be signed? Among the team’s new acquisitions, General Manager Mike Gillis signed Defenceman Jason Garrison to a six-year deal for $27.6 million US.
DARPAN Magazine had the exclusive opportunity of sitting down with Garrison and learning more about this newest Canuck. Garrison, who was born in Burnaby and raised in White Rock, British Columbia, says “it means a lot” to be playing back “in your hometown. Growing up, I was always a Canucks fan.”
The Canucks acquired Garrison from the Florida Panthers, where he played 190 career NHL games scoring 23 goals, 36 assists and logging 81 penalty minutes. He was signed by the Panthers in 2008 and prior to this, he played with the University of Minnesota Duluth of the WCHA for three seasons.
Last season, Garrison recorded 33 points, 32 penalty minutes in 77 games with the Panthers, in addition he set a franchise single season record among defenceman with 16 goals while averaging 23:41 in ice time.
For the last few years, Garrison has been battling a chronic groin strain and as the lockout continued, he was able to undergo rehabilitation, continued to skate four-five times a week with the end goal to work hard and get past the injury. As a result, he returned to the ice in late December to practice with his teammates, as he was medically cleared to play by the Canucks.
“I’m very close to being healed, I have dealt with it for years, but the break is allowing me to be very productive and maintain it to recovery,” he adds.
With 2013 now in full swing, Garrison plans to spend more time with his family in BC and hopes to be back on the ice playing once the lockout ends.
“It’s an unfortunate situation to miss a period of time [playing],” says Garrison, but once the lockout ends, it will be “fortunate to get back on the ice and start playing for the hometown. The first game is going to be a definite thrill!”
When asked ‘Who would you like to be paired with on defence?’ Garrison responded “the NHL has a lot of great players, and I would be more than happy and honoured to play with any of them.” Sportscasters are predicting that Garrison will be paired with Edler and the pair is expected to amp up the defence as veterans like Sami Salo have left a hole on the team.
He shares insight about the NHL up-and-comers saying there are “tonnes of young guys that are so gifted, Edmonton has a handful of players that are young and will become big stars.” As for his own team, he says “Zack Kassian and Dale Weise make great power forwards.”
As a newcomer to the team, his expectations are “to win” of course, and he says “everyone is super competitive and the Canucks have worked hard to come so close so many times,” now it’s time to make the Stanley Cup a reality, rather than a dream. “It is going to be nice to be a part of that.”
Jokingly, he adds the one thing he is most looking forward to as a Canuck is “being part of the downtown parade in Vancouver!”
Besides being passionate about hockey, Garrison’s other love is music. He has learned to play the guitar and his love for music has inspired him to take on the turntables. “I’m not nearly as good as I want to be or anyone in the business, but it gives me a chance to do something fun and play music,” he says with a smile.
As he is a huge music fan, he would like to meet Jay Z one day because “his music over the decades has always been so strong. I saw a mixed tape of Linkin Park and watched the in-studio recordings with Jay Z – very inspiring. I also like Drake and Rick Ross,” he adds.
Being back in Vancouver and now living in the heart of downtown, Garrison can be seen hanging out in Gastown at Social Restaurant & Lounge or indulging his palate in delicious gourmet cuisine – “Vij’s is one of my favourite restaurants, I’m a big fan of seeing and eating different things.”
Lastly, we asked him ‘What is something most fans don’t know about you?” After thinking about it for a sec, he replied with “I’m a neat freak, I’m always vacuuming and my closet is colour coordinated.”
Although Florida will be missed…welcome home Garrison! We look forward to watching you play D when the Canucks return to the ice.