The Syracuse Crunch have signed veteran defenseman Jason Garrison to a professional tryout contract, giving him a chance to play professional hockey for the first time in almost two years. Garrison last played for Djurgardens IF during the 2019-20 season.
More recently, Garrison had been helping the University of Minnesota-Duluth as a volunteer assistant coach while he finished his degree. He last played in the NHL during the 2018-19 season with the Edmonton Oilers, but after a trade took him to the Chicago Blackhawks where there was no room, he ended up terminating his contract to pursue an opportunity overseas rather than report to the AHL.
A veteran of more than 500 NHL games, Garrison is now 37 and likely not headed for full-time duty in the AHL. Theoretically, he could be in contention for the Canadian Olympic team though, should he prove to still be able to hold his own at the pro level. Players under AHL-only contracts will likely be eligible for the event, and Garrison’s PTO certainly wouldn’t preclude his participation. That does seem like a long shot at this point given his absence from high-level hockey, but he’s at least someone to keep an eye on. In 2014, Garrison represented Canada at the World Championship.