Canucks send David Booth to the Utica Comets on a conditioning assignment

After missing four games with a groin injury, David Booth is expected to return to the ice sometime in the next week. It won’t be for the Canucks, however, as he has been sent to the Utica Comets on a conditioning assignment.

That runs contrary to what Booth told the media Monday morning, saying he expected to play on the Canucks’ upcoming Pacific Division road trip. That’s likely more a reflection of his health than something he discussed with the team, however. He participated in practice, including battle drills, indicating that his groin is ready for action, which does not mean what you think it means.

I’ve seen some Canucks fans taht are so frustrated by his lack of offensive production that they openly hope his move to Utica is a permanent one, which is a little ridiculous. The issue with Booth is not whether he can contribute to the lineup, but whether he can live up to the expectations created by his contract and past performance.

His 3 points in 11 games is simply not enough and his declining shot totals are also a concern, but he’s still a better player than Jeremy Welsh, Darren Archibald, Yannick Weber, and Tom Sestito. The Canucks don’t just want a competent third-line forward out of Booth: they want a top-six winger who can drive play and create space for his linemates with his footspeed and physical play. The speed and physicality just haven’t been there consistently enough.

John Tortorella knows that Booth has more to offer, saying “I’ve seen David play … I know what he has in there. We certainly want to try to get to that as quickly as possible and health’s a big part of it. We’re going to try to go through the right steps and right process to try to get him back as a player because he’s a really good player.”

With that in mind, Booth’s conditioning assignment may be less about getting back up to speed in regards to his health, but getting back up to speed in regards to his confidence. Booth certainly should be able to score at the AHL level and the Utica Comets could use his help, too, as they still have yet to earn a single win through 8 games. A little north-south possession driving by Booth could do wonders for both him and the Comets.

Booth is the second Canuck to get sent to Utica on a conditioning assignment, with Zac Dalpe getting assigned to the Comets two weeks ago. The limit on a conditioning stint is 14 days and Dalpe was recalled by the Canucks on Saturday, giving them another forward option for the coming road trip. He had 3 assists in 6 games with the Comets.

Alex Burrows notably did not have a conditioning stint after missing games due to injury, returning to the lineup before even participating in a full practice with the team. He has yet to pick up a point through 4 games, though he is still driving puck possession effectively and was especially effective against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

That Booth is in a category with Dalpe instead of Burrows has to be considered disappointing. He will be eligible to stay in the AHL until November 18th, after the Canucks’ road trip is finished. The Comets will have six games in that time.

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43 comments

  1. NarkusMaslund
    November 4, 2013

    Regardless of one’s personal feelings on Booth, if the Canucks are to make noise this year, they’ll need something close to 4.25m of value out of Booth when it comes to playoff time.

    Anything that can get Booth back to being the player he can be needs to be done.

    All Canuck fans should be hoping this works, and we get to see the guy we thought we were going to get from Florida, or at least something close to it.

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    • ikillchicken
      November 4, 2013

      I don’t think that’s true at all now that Santorelli has come out of nowhere as this huge positive surprise. He’s basically plugged the hole in our top 6 since he has adequately filled Kesler’s 2C spot allowing us to keep him at wing with the Sedins. And that in turn has allowed Burrows to move down to the second line into what was the hole we might have needed Booth to fill. And Higgins has been playing pretty great too. He’s really shown he can be a steady 2nd liner and not just an above average 3rd liner. And all that in turn has allowed us to keep Kassian in a more manageable 3rd line role, rather than a more strictly offensive one, in which he’s looked pretty good especially lately. Add to that a healthy Hansen sooner or later and we’ve got 3 solid lines even if Booth does nothing. Of course, that’s not to say he will do nothing. Nor is it to say he wouldn’t be an asset if he got back on form and shifted everyone another step further down the chart. But it’s just not a necessity now like it might have seemed at the start of the year.

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      • NarkusMaslund
        November 5, 2013

        I certainly hope you are right on all of that. I simply think it is going to be quite difficult to win a Stanley Cup in the salary cap era (especially in a particularly low-cap year) if you have that sort of change tied up in a player that isn’t producing close to that value. Especially on a team with few players on rookie-level deals.

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  2. akidd
    November 4, 2013

    the fat lady just needs to sing and that will be that.

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  3. akidd
    November 4, 2013

    not sure how to caculate this but i’d like to see the numbers for the canuck’s winning % over the past two years with and without booth. the unofficial count in my head is pretty lopsided for a much higher winning % WITHOUT booth. fancy that. let alone what the team could do with an extra 4.25 million per.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 4, 2013

      Interesting question, though I’ve never been a huge fan of that kind of accounting, because hockey is a team sport and the loss of one player doesn’t always have the impact you’d expect. The Canucks won only 7 of the 17 games Ryan Kesler played last season, for instance, and won 19 of the 31 games he didn’t play. Were the Canucks actually a worse team with Kesler in the lineup? I wouldn’t say so.

      That said, it’s worth taking a quick look.

      Hockey Reference is some help for this, but it shows overtime losses as just losses. With that in mind, here are the numbers over the last three seasons, because I’m not sure why you wouldn’t include his first season with the Canucks.

      2011-12 – 38-24 with Booth, 13-7 without Booth.
      2012-13 – 5-7 with Booth, 21-15 without Booth.
      2013-14 – 6-5 with Booth, 4-1 without Booth.

      Those last two seasons suffer from being small sample sizes, but if you add all the games up, the Canucks have won 49 of 85 games with Booth in the lineup, a winning percentage of 57.6%. Without Booth, they’ve won 38 of 61 games, a winning percentage of 62.3%. That’s a difference, certainly, but it’s not “lopsided” or “much higher” like you suggest and it’s largely indiscernible from random chance, particularly since overtime and shootout losses are included.

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      • akiddd
        November 4, 2013

        hey, thanks for doing that, daniel! i was curious about it for awhile. pretty much how it felt. to me, those numbers look consistent with the notion that the canucks are a better team without booth, especially over the last calendar year. thanks again. cheers.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          November 5, 2013

          I figured you’d see it that way, but a difference of less than 5% is basically no different than random chance.

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      • akiddd
        November 4, 2013

        a quick calculation(not quick at all actually:) and over the last calendar year the canucks have a 61% winning % without booth and a 48% winning % with him. that’s a pretty substantial difference wouldn’t you say? the canucks were definitely a better team without booth over the last calendar year.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          November 5, 2013

          Again, this is why I’m not a big fan of looking purely at wins or losses when a player is in or out as it’s not particularly reliable or, really, all that relevant. In the last calendar year, Booth’s only played 23 games, so you first run into small sample size issues. Let’s look at another small sample that I mentioned previously: the Canucks were 7-7-3 when Ryan Kesler was in the lineup last season and 19-8-4 when he wasn’t in the lineup. That’s 50.0% of possible points with Kesler and 67.7% without him.

          That’s a bigger difference than the one you found about Booth and in just 5 fewer games from Kesler. By your reasoning, the Canucks were definitely a better team without Kesler last season.

          Do you see the problem here? Wins and losses are dependent on so many other factors that using them to judge individuals isn’t very useful.

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          • akiddd
            November 5, 2013

            kesler played quite a few of those games with a broken foot i remember. you go 11-12 with a guy 25-16 without him. no other coinciding injury to a key canuck. not that stands out anyway. i think that’s pretty telling.

            that they’ve won considerably more games without a guy than with him might have something to do with a certain utica assignment. you seem so bewildered about this and the healthy scratch. you’re like the last kid to believe in santa claus. mom’s wrapping the present right in front of you and you’ve got your hands squeezed over your eyes and are shouting the alphabet really loudly:)

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            • Tom
              November 5, 2013

              He was a healthy scratch and then the next game plays until a soft soft check, followed by not returning to the game and being announced as injured. Does anybody think that his healthy scratch wasn’t really healthy?

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            • Daniel Wagner
              November 5, 2013

              So, you’re saying that playing through injuries and coming back after an injury should be a mitigating factor? Imagine that…

              Again, we’re talking about a guy who’s only been able to play in 23 games over the last year due to various injuries. You’ll excuse me if I don’t damn a player forever for a quarter of a season’s worth of games.

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              • akidd
                November 5, 2013

                daniel, i know that it’s a pretty fallible stat. it’s probably the most un-advanced stat there is. wins and losses. i kinda like it it though. there’s a nice simplicity about it. do you win with a guy or don’t you?

                for me, i formed my opinion of booth watching him play. i wanted him to be good. i was stoked when i heard about the trade. then i got to see him play…and what i’ve seen is that booth would be the last guy touching the puck in so many broken places. his linemates almost always shutout. and then in tight games where each line is working with the next to eke out some small advantage, an offensive zone faceoff, a bit of momentum from a hit a shift, and then again i have so many recollections of the pass finally coming to booth after watching hansen or some other lucky guy battle and dig for it and you get a floater into the chest or a bobble or an impossible return pass. one key weak link seemed be the difference often. momentum especially. ten feet tall? not exactly.

                time after time. it seemed like they were losing a lot. and then when i see the numbers it bears out. totally different story with kesler obviously. that’s why you can’t just look at the numbers. when you first started writing about advanced stats you and drance were careful to explain that they were meant to inform observation not take its place. so with booth what observations are you informing with your stats? he’s only played a handful of decent games as a canuck and that was mostly in his first few months here. did you watch him in florida, pre-concussion? i didn’t. i mean it’s not like you’ve watched him fall from grace. he was mediocre when he got here and he has gotten consistently worse ever since. he can’t even get shots to the net anymore. and now he’s on the farm.

                i think you base your entire opinion of booth on statistics. there’s no other explanation.

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              • Daniel Wagner
                November 5, 2013

                And you’re wrong about how I form my opinions. I watch Booth and see a guy who works hard along the boards, is very good at driving the puck through the neutral zone, and very good at gaining the blue line with possession. I see a guy who believes in getting the puck on net and driving the net. I see a guy who scored 16 goals in his first season with the Canucks — on pace for 20+ goals — and was finally gelling with Kesler before a dirty knee-on-knee hit knocked him out for an extended period of time.

                I watch Booth and see a guy who hasn’t been able to get back up to game speed at the NHL because of a series of injuries. He’s struggled and it’s unfortunate, but I see positive signs that he can turn it around.

                But it’s interesting to me that what I see from Booth on the ice — an ability to drive the puck north-south and gain the offensive zone with possession — matches what I see in the advanced stats. To me, his very good underlying stats support what I see on the ice.

                When you watch Booth, somehow you’re seeing all of his negatives and none of his positives. You are incredibly biased against him, but you’ve decided that you’re just seeing what’s there and that I’m the one who’s biased. The difference is, I have evidence to support my position and you don’t. You have a subjective opinion of Booth based on just your eyes. Every time you watch Booth now, you’re going to be looking for things that support that position: it’s called confirmation bias.

                Maybe I have confirmation bias too and I see positive things from Booth on the ice because I’m looking for them. But that’s why I keep such a close eye on advanced stats, to see when my subjective point of view may be incorrect.

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              • akidd
                November 6, 2013

                yes, perception is biased. no doubt about it. but i wanted to like booth as a player. seriously, i’m a canuck fan. i wanted him to be good. he played his way into my bad books, as i see it.

                now if we can’t trust our own biased opinions maybe we should take a poll. i’d say a large majority of canuck fans don’t have a high estimation of booth as a player. tortorella doesn’t seem to have a high estimation, at this time, either. you are definitely in the minority. so perhaps you should ask yourself why. booth is probably the least favourite canuck of choice in this city, no matter how much you guys try to shop sestito:)

                i see numbers too. goals, assists, salary cap number…important numbers. i think you’ve staked a lot on booth, as a pundit. i can totally see why at this point booth emerging as a good player would be a tremendous thing for you in the professional “i tol ya so’ category. and as you explore advanced stats and develop that aspect of your professional skills booth’s success would be doubly good. that kinda investment has got to influence perception a great deal too.

                booth’s time with the canucks has been a disaster. it’s a pretty exclusive club that doesn’t agree.

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              • akidd
                November 6, 2013

                and speaking of perception and fixed opinion, know who’s playing good right now? and looks better than he has since the last p-cup? bobby lou, that’s who. good stuff! that’s your horse too, isn’t it?

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  4. jenny wren
    November 4, 2013

    and there are those who hope in truth
    they’ve seen the last of david booth
    myself i am not one of those
    more on the fence i do suppose

    he’s quite a hit upon the cap
    a hunter and a Christian chap
    the last two facts inconsequent
    for it’s his pay some fans resent

    anyone making four point two
    that’s millions more than me and you
    had best prove worthy of his wage
    lest he incur some righteous rage

    could be a help i do assert
    the problem is he’s always hurt

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  5. shoes
    November 4, 2013

    Here is the deal. Somebody has to be in Booths position on the ice and producing, whether it is Booth or someone else, matters not. If he can come back to his former self, perfect. His best year was with Santorelli. I cheer for him, but lost some hope.

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  6. GeezMoney
    November 4, 2013

    I think the Canucks bloggers are starting to fall in line with a lot of Canucks fans. Booth`s corsi rating, while impressive as it might be, is simply not good enough to suggest he`s playing effectively. He is paid to be a top 6 winger and this whole lowering the bar on what to expect from him is not okay. If he willingly offered a pay cut to what a 3rd line winger should make, I would salute him and change my tone. But he (or his agent) isn`t stupid. And neither are fans. I believe he`ll continue to under-produce vis a vis what he is paid, and he`ll continue to have his defenders on the blogosphere.

    (It`s almost like a hipster love in for the guy. Because he`s so bad, it`s cool to like him.)

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 4, 2013

      If by “a lot of Canucks fans” you meant the guys on Twitter that hate him, think he’s terrible at hockey, and should be permanently sent down to the AHL, traded, or bought out, then nope, I don’t fall in line with those guys at all. If you instead mean the Canucks fans that are disappointed he’s underperforming and think he can play better, but still think he’s a good player whose underlying statistics generally indicate that his numbers will improve, then yes, I “fall in line” with those folks.

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      • NarkusMaslund
        November 5, 2013

        It’s interesting to me to see when the stats guys say “yeah, the guy is underperforming and can play better”, the ‘non-stats’ guys immediately say “so you agree that he sucks then!!”

        That was a great job of parsing the difference there, Daniel, thanks.

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    • J21
      November 5, 2013

      (1) He can’t take a pay cut under this CBA, so that’s moot;

      (2) His salary is a sunk cost. It simply doesn’t affect the Canucks right now. There’s not even an opportunity cost — what other player could be brought in right now with that money?

      So even if he’s only 5% better than a guy getting paid a fraction of what he is, he is technically still the better option in the lineup.

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      • GeezMoney
        November 6, 2013

        What are we allowed to say about Booth, then? That he’s super? He’s a swell forechecker that is incredibly effective at achieving a high corsi? I don’t know. It seems like slamming any multi-millionaire athlete is unfashionable.

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  7. Erin
    November 4, 2013

    How long do you think he’ll be down with the Comets for?

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 4, 2013

      I think Brent below you in the comments has the right idea. The Comets have a four-day break after Sunday, so I suspect they’ll call him back up after Sunday. Who knows, though, they might keep him down for the full 14 days.

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  8. Brent
    November 4, 2013

    This caught me by surprize. One would think that they would want his big body and speed when playing San Hose. But obviously that isn’t going to happen. Comets play this Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and then not until the 15th. Maybe he comes home after this Sunday? But then he misses the whole road trip.

    Well, lets hope his confidence improves.

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  9. Sarc
    November 4, 2013

    With Booth’s luck, what are the chances of him getting injured while with the Comets.

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  10. mb13
    November 5, 2013

    So at what point does Gillis admit that Booth is not a good player?

    I cabt believe that he expects canucks followers to believe a word that leaves his mouth if he continues calling Booth anything but a failure.

    Whether Booth is better than dalpe and 3 other random players on the roster…. geez… I hope so.

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    • NarkusMaslund
      November 5, 2013

      If you were the general manager of an NHL franchise, would you ever publicly state that a certain player is “not a good player”? Would you publicly call an employee of yours “a failure”?

      Regardless of GMMG’s personal opinions on Booth, it would be his worst decision of all time, by far, if he was to publicly express his feelings on Booth in the manner you expect him to. It would torpedo his credibility in his locker room, in the board room when trying to convince other players to join the Canucks, and when on the phone trying to make deals with other GMs.

      It’s simply not appropriate to expect anyone on the Canucks to comment on players the way you seem to think they should. The most you’ll ever hear (and the furthest you can go while still maintaining your credibility) is “Player X is struggling” or “Player Y isn’t where we’d like him to be right now”, and followed up with “…and we are going to do everything we can to get that Player to where we want and he wants to be”.

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      • mb13
        November 5, 2013

        Fair enough … I’ll speak on behalf of Gillis then…. Booth is one of his top 5 worst moves since becoming GM.

        To your other point about other players not coming to a team that would publicly discredit their own players. Since arriving in Vancouver, Gillis has turned a goalie situation into a complete fiasco, traded a player only a couple of months after acquiring the guy in free agency, publicly discredited a player he drafted on the day he traded him for pennies on the dollar etc etc…

        If I was a free agent… I would look at these issues and ask myself if I’d want to play for a team that treats it’s players like that.

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        • NarkusMaslund
          November 5, 2013

          This is my second attempt at a response, since my first was deleted for apparently “posting too quickly”, even though I typed it out for at least 5 minutes and lost it completely. Argh. Anyways – here’s the condensed version:

          I agree with you re: Booth acquisition. Hasn’t worked out (yet). I agree signing Sturm then trading looked bad. Your Hodgson assessment only shows one side. Goalie situation born out of having too many excellent players for one crease. I disagree with you re: Gillis reputation . I can’t remember one non-Hodgson player the Canucks have wanted to stay that hasn’t stayed. He’s convinced many pending FAs to take hometown discounts, and even some UFAs (Hamhuis). Further, there are few, if any, bad contracts that Gillis has signed (almost all are at or below what is considered to be “market value”). I think the reputation of the Canucks as an organization, specifically including GMMG, is considerably higher than what many disgruntled fans believe it is. Players, by all accounts and by all actions, want to play in Vancouver. Which is awesome.

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          • mb13
            November 5, 2013

            Goalie situation was not born out of having too many excellent players for one crease… it was born out of Gillis being arrogant and trying to maximize return when everybody could see that a) the goalie market was virtually non-existent for Luongo (and his contract) and b) trading Scheider would always get them the better return. He mismanaged that situation into getting a single draft pick for Schneider – terrible.

            With respect to your point of any bad contracts… Luongo’s contract was so bad that no team wanted him and Luongo himself said that he would rip it up.

            Gillis’ greatest strength is negotiating contracts – there is no doubt there. This strength essentially gives him a de-facto higher salary cap than the rest of the league. The issue I have with Gillis is his greatest weakness is talent evaluation which essentially nullifies his strength – because he can’t take advantage of his “extra” cap space. He wastes it on players like Booth.. or Ballard. I also believe that he is well below average at trading…for all his strengths in negotiating with players, he is equally bad at negotiating with other GMs. I can think of 4 hockey trades that are clear losses for Gillis… the Booth deal…the Ballard deal… the Hodgson deal and the Schneider deal.

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            • NarkusMaslund
              November 5, 2013

              I’m still waiting to see the official deals that Gillis turned down for either Schneider or Luongo. Until we see that (which we probably never will), it’s hard to really say what he “should have” taken. I do agree he should have dealt with it quicker and more efficiently, however. Also – regardless of how difficult it was to deal Luongo, the issue was less “the contract is terrible” and more “we don’t want to give up anything of value for it”. I think there’s a distinction.

              His “single draft” pick, though, was a top 10 pick. Take a look at all the other trades for goalies. It’s hard to argue that CS really was traded for really anything less than the “going rate” for that type of goalie. There’s an excellent Grantland article about that.

              I also take issue with your “4 clear losses”. The Canucks lost nothing of consequence in the Booth deal – the only issue is how much salary space he takes up. Ballard deal hurts, sure. Hodgson and CS deals are WAY too early to judge (especially the latter, and as noted, that was essentially the “going rate” for goalies in CS’s position. I watch Horvat play live twice a month at least, and have for the last 2 years. Vancouver fans are going to love him.

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            • Neil B
              November 5, 2013

              Actually, reading Luongo’s version of events, GMMG *accepted* a trade proposal on Luongo and then the deal fell apart. You don’t ask a player to sigh a waiver of his NTC on spec. It sure was a masterful stroke of bad luck that the ‘Nucks focused their bargaining on a team that pulled out of the deal way, way too late on Deadline Day for Gillis to put together another trade.

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              • mb13
                November 5, 2013

                Narkus – I’m not sure how one would know the official deals that Gillis turned down for Schneider or Luongo. That can’t stop anyone from criticizing the deal.

                “going rate for goalies”… Ok the only other goalie that I see being traded in the past few years (correct me if I’m wrong, won’t be the first time) was Varlamov being dealt for a 1st + 2nd round pick. We can debate on who the better prospect was at the time of their trade but I would argue at the very least that Gillis should have matched the return that Varlamov got. Let me know if you have a better example.

                “losing nothing of consequence in the Booth deal”…. a team that is up to the cap…. cap space is everything. Nevermind that Samuelson produced similar output for Florida that year and didn’t eat up $4.25M of cap space for another 3 years. No matter how one sliced or dices, it’s a loss.

                With respect to the Hodgson deal… sure you can judge the deal now because at the time of the deal everyone was crazy that the return on Hodgson was only some rookie nobody had heard of… even if Gillis thought Kassian was an excellent prospect, he had done very little in the NHL at the time. Hodgson had already proven capable of scoring 16 goals for the Canucks that season. I’m shocked that the Canucks couldn’t get more for a rookie who had proven he could score at this level. Frankly – Kassian has not shown very much to prove he will be anything more than a roster filler for his career.

                Again – this is not to say that Horvat or Kassian won’t turn into excellent players but he should have gotten MORE in return than a couple of “lottery tickets” when he was giving up proven commodities. Put it another way… the ceiling on Schneider and Hodsgon to me is higher than Kassian … Horvat is interesting but, again, Schneider is a proven goalie that many think will be Top 5 in the league.

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              • Daniel Wagner
                November 5, 2013

                Using Varlamov as a comparable doesn’t really work, as the rest of the league basically agreed even at the time that the deal was ludicrous. No other GM in the league was going to use that as a starting point for Schneider.

                There have actually been 8 starting goaltenders traded since Varlamov, including Schneider, according to Down Goes Brown. That’s just starting goalies, not all goalies. Of those 8, only one brought back a first round pick, let along a top-10 pick, and that was Schneider.

                Here are some of the young goaltenders with potential that were traded. Ben Bishop cost the Senators a second round pick. Anders Lindback was part of a package that brought back Sebastien Caron, two second round picks, and a third round pick. Sergei Bobrovsky cost the Bluejackets a second round pick and two fourth round picks. Steve Mason went to the Flyers for Michael Leighton and a third round pick. Ben Bishop was traded again, this time to the Lightning for Cory Conacher and a fourth round pick.

                The biggest haul was for Jonathan Bernier, who the Leafs traded Matt Frattin, Ben Scrivens, and a second round pick. Bernier is probably one of the better comparables for Schneider, really. Frattin was a former fourth round pick, while Scrivens was undrafted. Frattin’s a decent enough player, though, and Scrivens is a capable backup, but Bernier didn’t net the Kings a top-end prospect or potential star by any means.

                Don’t get me wrong, I wish the Canucks had been able to get more for Schneider. I think Gillis should have tried to acquire a roster player to go with the pick. Maybe he did try, I don’t know. But still, goalies don’t normally get traded for first round picks, particularly top-10 picks in a deep draft.

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  11. Aaron
    November 5, 2013

    Great info and back up in comments Daniel. I think the conditioning stint is necessary as it seems obvious to me that with the amount of injuries Booth has incured some of them have to do with fitness level. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure he is in much better shape than me and many others but are lots of people in good shape that don’t properly work all the muscle groups which can make certain injuries common in even an athlete. I would also agree that Booth has great underlying numbers when it comes to puck possesion and if he were to come back and play the way we expect him to play it would be a huge boon for the Canucks. I aslo think he needs to put puck on and in the net for the salary he gets. I for one hope he comes back with a vengence and helps the Canucks further on the depth chart. If not i bet he’s bought out next year!

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  12. Collin
    November 5, 2013

    This conditioning stint won’t likely do too much for his actual conditioning. He’s not going to put on any muscle or improve his endurance or cause hardly any effect on his body in 14 days. Sure his confidence is low right now, but he’s been slower and less physical than usual this season. Booth has been injured for so many days over the last year, he’s become physically weaker. It will probably take him a year to get his speed and strength back to what it was when he first joined the Canucks. I don’t have much hope for him this year, since I feel the solution to regaining his form will take longer than the season.

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  13. Taylor Mah
    November 5, 2013

    Those fans are clearly so frustrated with Booth’s lack of production, they’ve forgotten how to spell “that”.

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  14. mb13
    November 6, 2013

    Daniel – I’m going to respond here because for some reason your comment doesn’t have a “reply” button below it.

    I clicked on that article and found it interesting. I think the biggest takeaway from that article is the return for the goalie is based …. timing, opportunity and luck. That’s where I think the Canucks failed and should have gotten a stronger return for Schneider if they made the deal earlier. They were negotiating from a position of weakness but I think the weakness was self-generated.

    With respect to the Varlamov return – I didn’t know that the rest of the league thought the return was too much. I thought he was an excellent comparative. The next best, if not better, is Bernier.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 6, 2013

      That’s a fair point about timing, but I think it’s very telling that goaltenders don’t net a first round pick particularly often. Tyler Dellow wrote an article after the Schneider trade that I can’t track down now pointing out that top-10 picks are incredibly difficult to acquire in a trade and used that as a defence of the trade. Note that Dellow is a massive Oilers fan and hates the Canucks, so he had very little reason to defend the trade.

      But yeah, regarding Varlamov, the general response to that trade was shock. The headline at Puck Daddy said the Avalanche got fleeced and goes over the many reasons why, one of which is that he was a pending RFA as well and it was thought he would bolt to the KHL before the trade was made. The Capitals had too many goalies and needed to move one of them.

      Basically, what it boils down to is that the Capitals basically had to make the trade or they’d lose Varlamov to the KHL anyways. Somehow, the Avalanche, negotiating from a position of strength, gave up a completely unnecessary first round pick. To make things worse, the Avalanche were once again terrible that season and the first round pick turned into the 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft.

      Bernier is a pretty good comparable, which is why it’s notable that the Kings got a former fourth round pick, an undrafted backup goaltender, and a second round draft pick. I think a good argument can be made that a 9th overall pick is more valuable than the return for Bernier. But again, I would have preferred if the Canucks had picked up a roster player in addition to the pick. A depth centre capable of contributing this season would have made the trade a little more palatable.

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      • Daniel Wagner
        November 6, 2013

        Here’s the article I mentioned that I couldn’t find the link to before: http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6185

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