Only one day after The Province spun a globe and landed on the state of Florida as a potential trade partner, Mike Gillis has partially taken their advice, sending Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm to the Florida Panthers in exchange for winger David Booth, centre Steven Reinprecht, and the third round pick the Canucks originally gave to Florida to get Chris Higgins.

You heard that right. The Canucks have moved their two least impressive forwards so far this season for the elusive power forward for Ryan Kesler’s wing. That’s like trading a bottle of glue for a unicorn.

This one came out of nowhere. Not since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln has a Booth arrived so unexpectedly.

David Booth, 26, is the prized piece here. At 6’0″, he’s not overly tall, but he’s a solid 212 lbs (almost identical measurements to the very thick Raffi Torres). Booth plays a power forward’s game, too; he’s strong on his skates and he likes to hit. He also likes to score. In 309 career games with Florida, he recorded 167 points. His best season came in 2008-09, when he scored 31 goals and 29 assists.

There are some concerns, of course. Booth was a team-worst minus-31 last season for the Panthers. Granted, pretty much everyone on the Panthers finished in the minuses — being sucky will do that to you — but when you’re the worst of the worst, something’s the matter. Expect Booth to struggle in the early going as he adjusts to the Canucks’ defensively-focused system. Playing with the reigning Selke winner in Ryan Kesler will certainly help, but we’ve seen, with the recent additions of Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich, that it often takes ex-Panthers a little while to unlearn poor habits.

Still, defense can be taught. Booth’s high-end offensive skill, on the other hand, cannot be. He’s a solid addition, finally putting an end to Ryan Kesler’s helicopter line.

At least one hopes, especially with that contract. Like Keith Ballard, Booth arrives from The Sunshine State with a pretty hefty price tag: the Canucks will be paying him $4.25 million a season through 2014-15. Provided he works out, no one will mind, but if past experience is any indication, Canuck fans don’t have much patience for overpaid acquisitions from Florida.

Hello, ladies. You know, I wasn't just acquired for Ryan Kesler.

As for Steven Reinprecht, the Canucks have already said that he’s on his way to the Chicago Wolves, and his $2 million price tag is too much for the team to risk eating half of on recall waivers, but don’t think he was just a throw-in. Yes, the Panthers were trying to dump the salary (that’s pretty much all this trade was in its entirety for them), but the Canucks will be more than glad to have a veteran centre just waiting in the minors in case one of Maxim Lapierre or Manny Malhotra goes down just before the playoffs, like last season.

The third-round pick matters as well. By getting it back, the Canucks are now in a position to tender offer sheets, if they so choose. Mike Gillis has proven in the past that he doesn’t care much for the unspoken agreement between GMs not to do that.

As for the guys on the way out, one will be missed and one won’t. We didn’t have much time to get to know Marco Sturm and he wasn’t all that good while he was here, so his departure won’t bother many. Here’s hoping he finds his legs in Florida, however. He’s clearly not ready to pack it in, and he’ll likely be given a bit more room there to refind his game. If he doesn’t, Florida is a sweet place to retire.

As for Mikael Samuelsson, parting is such sweet sorrow. He’s been problematic at even-strength, much-maligned as a powerplay quarterback (unfairly, if you ask me) and he’s slowly lost footspeed over his last two seasons, but his dadness, his awkward goal celebrations, and his brutal honesty will be sorely missed. Although we can still look forward to Samuelsson telling the Florida media that the Canucks can go [forget] themselves.

Samuelsson leaves a few interesting holes in the lineup. If this afternoon’s game is any indication, his spot on the Canucks’ top powerplay unit will be ably filled by Sami Salo, a solution that will likely add some shootiness to a group often prone to over-passing. He also leaves the door open for someone else — say, Dale Weise — to be Alex Burrows’ post-penalty kill replacement on the top line with the Sedins.

There are other small shockwaves that this trade sends through the lineup. Clearly, Ryan Kesler’s other linemate is going to be reconsidered as well. Cody Hodgson was benched in the third period of tonight’s game; does he get another chance there? If not, does Chris Higgins, forming an All-American trio? Will Mark Spector cut the Canucks some slack if they have a line like that? No Danes and Swedes here, pal.

If Higgins presses Hodgson out, does this mean the return of Cody’s dark times? I don’t think so. It looks like it will take him a little more time to learn the wing than everyone thought, though, and I’m sure the Canucks would rather those growing pains happen on the third line than the second. Expect him to line up with Manny Malhotra and Jannik Hansen going forward.

And finally, a word on the fact that this is yet another trade with Florida. It’s weird. See @JeffCoolHo‘s helpful infographic for just how absurd their relationship is becoming:

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22 comments

  1. JS Topher
    October 22, 2011

    “That’s like trading a bottle of glue for a unicorn.”
    And with that sir, you are legally entitled to have my babies… pure genius!

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  2. invisibleairwaves
    October 22, 2011

    So not only did this trade happen, but both my teams got thrilling OT victories over divisional rivals today. Am I actually allowed to be enjoying October hockey this much?

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    • Darren
      October 23, 2011

      “Invisible Air Waves”…. love your handle. I think your post was crackling with life. And a Leafs fan too? Good job.

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      • invisibleairwaves
        October 23, 2011

        Hahah. Glad someone picked up on the username. And yeah, I’m a Leafs fan too. Helps keep me from taking the Canucks’ current successes for granted. :P

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  3. Sandlak
    October 22, 2011

    Expected reaction from CKNW: Canucks trade only player with Stanley Cup ring for guy who has never played a playoff game in his career. Book it.

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    • invisibleairwaves
      October 22, 2011

      Hahah, probably. Clearly what this team needs is more playoff experience!

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  4. Nlee
    October 22, 2011

    Hopefully, Booth can adjust quickly. This has the potential to pay big dividends for us.

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  5. The Bookie
    October 22, 2011

    I will miss the Sturm puns though.

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  6. Zach Morris
    October 22, 2011

    the Canucks are a defensive team?

    but seriously, glad to have Booth.

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  7. Julia
    October 22, 2011

    “Hello, ladies. You know, I wasn’t just acquired for Ryan Kesler.”

    So are they going to do a 2nd line feature in the Body Issue next year?

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  8. peanutflower
    October 22, 2011

    I’ll still miss awkward Dad.

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  9. Tom 1040
    October 22, 2011

    Wow, the owner has deep pockets to be able to afford $2M for a minor-leaguer in Reinprecht.

    Oh, that’s right…Canucks’ fans have deep pockets, too.

    I like the trade because what left the team were two pretty mediocre (at best) players.

    I wonder how Gillis would do as a GM in Nashville? Interesting thought.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      October 22, 2011

      I’ve often wondered the opposite: what would David Poile do with a budget?

      Gillis has shown an ability to sign players to contracts for good value (Burrows and the Sedins come to mind), but a lot of what he’s done has been in improvements to support staff, hiring of Laurence Gilman, sprucing up the locker room and other areas, and other improvements that don’t have a cap hit. It would definitely be interesting to see what he would do without the budget for those kinds of improvements as well as the restrictions in having a smaller budget for players.

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      • Tom 1040
        October 24, 2011

        Excuse me but how much of a homer can you be? Everything on a platter and still no cup.

        Unlimited budget, awesome core (except for Luongo), and a packed house full of homers like yourself.

        I echo your sentiment about Poile but with expectations of the ultimate prize.

        With your resume Mr. Wegner, you should be occupying Vancouver instead snuggling up to flakey authority figures like Gillis who on the one hand berates the press and on the other is in such a hockey market that he can put $2M in the minors in this market as per Trevor Linden’s comments.

        Hope you and Mr. Mooney get a nice gig out of this ‘objectivity’.

        Barf.

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        • Harrison Mooney
          October 24, 2011

          Barf, huh? And yet here you are, commenting daily. Are you bulimic, Tom? Because we can get you help.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          October 24, 2011

          Wow. I honestly have no idea what I said that deserved such a rude reply. In case you didn’t notice, I was agreeing with you. It would be interesting to see Gillis in Nashville with a limited budget. The only thing I said in support of Gillis was that he’s “shown an ability to sign players to contracts for good value” then I pointed out how a number of his improvements to the Canucks have been things he’s been able to do because of his larger budget. Again, I was agreeing with you. How in the world does that turn into me being a biased homer?

          Seriously, I have no clue how that was me “snuggling up to flakey authority figures.”

          Is this how you respond to everyone who agrees with you? Harrison said it tongue in cheek, but I’m honestly concerned that you have a problem.

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  10. swizzler
    October 23, 2011

    “This one came out of nowhere. Not since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln has a Booth arrived so unexpectedly.”

    this is your second great Lincoln related joke this week. well done sir

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    • Harrison Mooney
      October 23, 2011

      Really? What was the other one? The Gettysburg joke at Puck Daddy?

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      • swizzler
        October 23, 2011

        indeed. the elusive fourscore in seven

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  11. iceman
    October 23, 2011

    funny how we seemingly have a farm team in the nhl. everytime we do a trade with florida it seems like they are getting the ass end of it. and lets be honest, the fact that there GM was put into our ring of honour last year isn’t a coincidence.

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    • iceman
      October 23, 2011

      nevermind hes there scout or somethin…. i got confused..

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      • peanutflower
        October 23, 2011

        don’t you hate it when you can’t delete posts? I know I do.

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