Canucks’ wedding gift to David Booth: cash (in the form of a buyout)

David Booth is set to get married later this month at the field in Montana where he bagged his biggest deer. (He’s a weird dude. This has been established.)

So what do you get as a wedding present for a dude this wacky? Coonskin cap? Bearskin rug? A something-skin something, most definitely, unless you want to go the route the Canucks have reportedly opted to go, and just give him cash.

It’s a pretty impersonal gift, granted, but the Canucks probably don’t mind, since this one doubles as compliance buyout. Late Monday evening, new Canucks GM Jim Benning called Booth’s agent Mike Liut to inform him that the left winger would be bought out. From the Canucks:

David Booth has been placed on waivers for the purposes of granting him his unconditional release. In the event he clears the club will execute a Compliance Buyout in accordance with the NHL/NHLPA Collecting Bargaining Agreement.

We wish David all the success in the future and thank him for his contributions with the Canucks.

The David Booth era in Vancouver is, sadly, over.

It definitely hasn’t been boring. Booth’s been a constant source of amusement and/or discussion here at Bulis for quite some time. There was that time he killed a bear. That time he kissed a bear. His theology school and religious beliefs. That time he killed Falcor. That time he took a slackline to the groin. Booth is always doing something, it seems.

Except for scoring, which is why we’re talking buyouts today. Safe to say all of Booth’s quirks would have been forgiven by the fans, in much the same way we tend to forgive others their sins, no matter how outrageous, if they came with a lot of goals.

But he didn’t do that very often. In his last 78 games for the Canucks, Booth contributed just 10 goals, which is nowhere close to good enough for a guy with a $4.5 million cap hit. With the Canucks looking to compete next year, and this buyout is a clear sign that they are, that money is better allocated to retooling the second line, either by complementing Ryan Kesler (which Booth didn’t seem to do), or replacing him.

That’s the big issue here. Booth settled in nicely as a third-liner near the end, but between Chris Higgins, Zack Kassian, Jannik Hansen, Nicklas Jensen, Shawn Matthias, and hell, even Alex Burrows until he proves otherwise, the Canucks have several of those, and they’re still looking to lock up another in Mike Santorelli. It makes sense for them to cut ties with their most expensive one.

(Well. It’s technically a tie with Alex Burrows, who also has a $4.5M cap hit and for longer. There’s an argument to be made for buying him out instead — John Tortorella made it — but Burrows can play with the Sedins, not to mention he’s beloved by the fanbase. The Canucks are still in make-the-fans-happy mode, after all. Can you imagine if Jim Benning’s first move as GM was to cut ties with Alex Burrows, as suggested by the outbound Tortorella, and keep David Booth? That’s a P.R. nightmare. It wasn’t happening. In fact, we’ll assume the opportunity to be rid of a Gillis mistake was the tiebreaker here.)

Still, while this makes sense, it’s a shame to see Booth go, because with this buyout, he instantly becomes the type of guy a team like the Canucks would be wise to pursue.

He’s been a positive possession player ever since he came to Vancouver. He had a 58.4% corsi for the Canucks in 2011-12, a 60.5% corsi in 2012-13, and a 52% corsi in 2013-14. His offensive was subpar, sure, but there were injury troubles all along the way, and by his own admission, he didn’t really get up to speed following the lockout until late last season. There’s enough evidence in his underliers and his story to suggest that his days as a 20-goal scorer aren’t up. He’s worth a gamble.

But he’s not worth what the Canucks are paying him. Which is why they’ve decided to stop doing that.

34 comments

  1. rsen9
    June 17, 2014

    Canucks seem to be losing American born players: Schneider, Alberts, Booth, potentially Kesler.

    #protectHiggins

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    • Pavo
      June 17, 2014

      Ballard.

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    • John Matrix
      June 18, 2014

      “The Canucks need more good BC boys!”

      - Typical CDC Poster

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  2. DanD
    June 17, 2014

    So here’s a hypothetical question: Could the Canucks buy him out and resign him at a more reasonable price? I assume they wouldn’t want to even if they could, but just wondering if that’s a possibility.

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    • Chrìs
      June 17, 2014

      A team can’t sign a player that they have bought out. It’s part of the cba

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    • Browntown
      June 17, 2014

      No, they cannot re-sign a bought out player for exactly 1 year after being bought out.

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    • Naturalmystic
      June 17, 2014

      What do you call reasonable?

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    • Neil B
      June 17, 2014

      Nope. Part of the CBA is that no team can use a buyout & then sign the player.

      I gotta say, buying out Booth helps a little on the cash front; but it also rids the Canucks of a signed contract. If we’re bringing back 3 or more contracts with a (supposed) Kesler trade, we might need the roster space more than the cap space.

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    • Iceman
      June 17, 2014

      Once a team buys out a player, he can’t resign with the same team until after one year.

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    • sf
      June 17, 2014

      No. Cba expressly forbids this.

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    • flyingv
      June 17, 2014

      No, you cannot re-sign a player that you bought out.

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  3. Brian
    June 17, 2014

    Stupid move. The guy’s finally healthy and getting his game going, and now they buy one one measly year? The gong show rolls on.

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  4. Zach Morris
    June 17, 2014

    I cannot believe that you think Alexandre Burrows is as equally deserving of a buyout as David Booth, at least to the extent that management needed a tiebreaker to decide which of them to cut.

    Burrows scored at least 26 goals four seasons in a row!
    Booth has scored a total of 26 goals with the Canucks.

    Burrows slayed the dragon.
    Booth contributed nothing of note.

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    • Dylan
      June 17, 2014

      It’s easy to score when you have the Sedin twins setting you up. Burrows is a third liner.

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      • Zach Morris
        June 18, 2014

        Burrows: do we really need him?

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    • Frank
      June 17, 2014

      Not true, Booth slayed the bear and all manner of other unsuspecting animals.

      For a $4.5 M cap hit, Benning couldn’t justify this when he could target someone who can slot into the second line. As Harrison noted, we’ve got plenty of candidates for the 3rd line.

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      • Brian
        June 17, 2014

        Where is Linden…err…Benning going to get a second liner for $1.5M (the amount left over after buying out Booth)?

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        • Daniel Wagner
          June 18, 2014

          It’s a compliance buyout, so the money does not count against the salary cap. Though I honestly have no idea where you’re getting that $1.5 million from.

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          • Chrìs
            June 18, 2014

            Booth gets 2/3 third of the remaining contract paid over 2 years, so maybe that’s the 1.5 Brian is talking about. The 4.5 he would of got paid if he played this year for the nucks does come off the cap Brian…… Check out cap geek.com or hockeydb.com if you want more info on the subject…

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          • Brian
            June 18, 2014

            My mistake. I forgot how compliance buyouts work. I still don’t like it, for the reasons I mentioned above.

            And this isn’t just about Booth. It’s about the uneasy feeling I’m getting about how this leadership group makes decisions. Short term, please the fans, go with the flow. At least that’s how it looks so far.

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  5. Chrìs
    June 17, 2014

    Ding dong the king is dead
    Which old king?
    The corsi king!

    This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, there’s not much out there for free agency. Which means the Canucks have something else planned. Hopefully it works out.

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      June 18, 2014

      I’d say it means Benning hopes to have some of his prospects make the NHL next year. I know that’s an unfamiliar sentiment around Canuckistan, but most well-run teams don’t go shelling out UFA contracts on bottom of the roster guys.

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  6. Doop
    June 17, 2014

    I wonder how the summer is gonna go for Jason Garrison :o

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  7. sam stone
    June 17, 2014

    Injury was not new to David Booth when he became a Canuck, check out his history n the NHL. It reads like a young Sami Salo. Knees, shoulders, ankles and of course concussions. For a physical specimen (as MG liked to refer to him as) he was a wreck. Whether this was the cause of his decline , I’ll leave that to the higher power. Burrows will prevail however I have no doubts whatsoever about that.

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  8. akidd
    June 17, 2014

    “sadly over”

    maybe sad for his loyal supporters at pitb but nothing sad about it from a hockey perspective. surprising that benning waited the extra day. the whole booth era was a bust. amazing that he stayed afloat as long as he did. i guess the new guy ain’t so easily fooled by those jigged corsi stats. every time booth threw the puck towards the net at an impossible angle, ending possession without even trying to create a scoring chance, and then hopped off the ice before the shot against sir alexander corsi rolled over in his grave.” that’s not the kind of possession my stat is supposed to relfect. and he’s doing it on purpose! foul! foul!” he would cry to the earthworms.

    and then there was that beautiful mountain goat. he put an arrow into it. can you imagine?!?

    maybe he was just a goofy, dim, misdirected dude but enough was enough…a long time ago.

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  9. iain
    June 17, 2014

    sensible move by the BLT. better than using the compliance buyout on Burrows or someone else.

    Booth just never lived up to his billing. all the tools, except an ability to score goals. which is kind of a nice thing for a ‘top six’ winger to have. maybe if he was cheaper you could accept the lack of production, but at that cap hit he was one of MG’s more expensive errors.

    hope he gets a fresh start somewhere else though.

    eagerly awaiting the BLT’s next move….

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  10. Lemming
    June 17, 2014

    Stupid move. Benning’s losing me…

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  11. BBoone
    June 17, 2014

    Good riddance.These in your face Tim Tebow types are better off on Sunday AM television bilking the deluded . If practicing a belief system, regardless of its veracity , is helpful in maintaining a virtuous life then great , However publicly bragging about your special connection to God is just a big ego trip.
    Combine that with killing things for fun ( Booth adhere to the lesser known “situational” ten commandments ) . Well…I’d rather my fan money went to support someone else. Talk the big talk somewhere else David, . I ‘d rather have a quiet walk the walker .
    I understand that others may feel differently.

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  12. Naturalmystic
    June 17, 2014

    The best part of Booth being bought out is he is going to have a rebound year and score 25-30 goals with another team. The Benning honeymoon will be over and the fan base will be livid. I can’t wait for October.

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  13. akidd
    June 18, 2014

    you’re such a tease, natural, pretending you like booth now he’s been bought out. and i thought you’d be happy now gillis is gone. but now there’s something wrong with benning too? i’m starting to get the impression that your analysis pushes where it likes on ouija board, no matter what the ghosts are saying.

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  14. biznow
    June 18, 2014

    I was rather indifferent about buying out booth, but now that I’ve seen that terrifying picture you used for this article, I say good riddance.

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  15. Brent
    June 18, 2014

    Not sure this is a good idea. As Brian says, he is finally healthy, and I suspect will be back to putting up some good numbers (not just corsi). After 1 year he can be resigned for a more realistic contract. Someone is going to get a good deal on Booth, with the weirdness as a bonus. I will be especially bummed out if we end up signing Thorton in his place. If that happens, I start rooting for the Oilers. OK just kidding.

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    • Brian
      June 18, 2014

      I’m afraid we’re going to *become* the Oilers.

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      • Lemming
        June 19, 2014

        With the kind of ownership and the short-sightedness displayed by the ownership and management group, I’m almost positive we’re going to *become* the Oilers.

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