The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Jason Garrison from the Vancouver Canucks, along with LW Jeff Costello and Vancouver's 7th round draft choice in 2015 for the #50 overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft.
Garrison, who will be 30 in November, should fill a top-4 slot with the Lightning on defense and serve on the power play. He's a replacement for Sami Salo, though not necessarily a top-pair defenseman that many fans have been calling for. He had 33 points last season for Vancouver (7 goals, 26 assists), that's a mite better than Salo's 17.
I asked Todd Little from Litter Box Cats what his thoughts were on Garrison, a former Florida Panther:
A little overpaid but a hard working d-man who if paired with a slick passer on the other side can bomb away from the point. Panther power play misses him.
My comparison to Salo still seems relevant for the overpriced part. The $4.6 million cap hit is a little painful but so was the money doled out to Salo in his 2 year contract.
Costello is an unsigned collegiate who played for Notre Dame. He had 13 goals and 9 assists in 40 games last season for the Fighting Irish... and 73 penalty minutes. His collegiate career has been 145 games long over 4 seasons. The best being in 2012-13 when he scored 30 points in only 33 games (11 goals, 19 assists).
This is the second time Costello has been traded this season. He was Ottawa Senators property up until March 4th. SB Nation's College Hockey Blog has the report on that trade and a short summary of Costello with the Irish. Chris Dilks, from SBN College Hockey, summarized him as thus in an email:
Basically a depth guy. Tough, smart. Probably AHL/NHL tweener.
Per Capgeek, Jason Garrison's $4.6 million AAV/cap hit comes with the first two years a bit frontloaded: the Vancouver Canucks have already paid the two most expensive years of the deal ($5.5 million in 2012-13 and $6.0 million in 2013-14), plus two years of a $3 million dollar signing bonus each.
That leaves the total dollars owed much lower for the Bolts and gives the Lightning a serviceable top-4 defenseman for a much better price than you might realize.