It would appear that the T.C. Williams High football program isn’t the only team obsessed with bolstering their left side. The Vancouver Canucks, too, have had an overflow of left-handed defencemen the past three seasons, and yet they went out and paid nearly $30 million for another this summer.
The Canucks succeeded with a surfeit of lefties in 2010-11 because Christian Ehrhoff was capable of playing his off-side. But when he left for Buffalo, the team discovered how rare Ehrhoff’s painless transition was. Keith Ballard couldn’t do it at all, and his inability to play with his stick (and left hip) away from the boards left him behind Dan Hamhuis and Alex Edler on the depth chart. Edler couldn’t do it either, and when Sami Salo regressed right out of the top four in January, the Canucks found themselves one right-sider short. We pegged addressing this deficit as Vancouver’s major offseason need.
Instead, the Canucks paid $27.6 million for six years of left-handed Jason Garrison. Now, Garrison spent much of last season in Florida paired with another lefty in Brian Campbell, occasionally playing Campbell’s right side, so we were confident that the Canuck scouts saw enough to be at least semi-confident in his ability to go “the full Ehrhoff”.
Apparently not.Continue Reading —›