By Alexander Monaghan
The Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers made a hockey trade today, impacting each team’s secondary scoring. Let’s take a look at the details. From VancouverCanucks.com:
Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks President & General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have acquired left wing David Booth, centre Steve Reinprecht and a third round draft pick in 2013 from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm.
Certainly a shocking move as David Booth was expected to warm up for tonight’s 7:30PM puck drop in Florida.
Obviously the biggest name player in the deal is the aforementioned Booth but the trade likely helps out both teams relatively equally from a production and salary standpoint. GM Dale Tallon proved in the past that he’s not afraid to risk moving high-potential players (ie. Michael Frolik, Keith Ballard, Michael Grabner) if they aren’t working out. Booth in Florida was perhaps a poster boy for a change in scenery — we think it will work out for him.
The Canucks cleared a combined $4.75 million of cap space while essentially removing a non-working piece and a injury-prone winger. In return, they gained $ 6.3 million and a high-energy scoring winger. When you take into account Reinprecht’s imminent demotion (he has no fantasy hockey value) then the Canucks will only have $ 4.25 million on the books — an actual savings of 500K.
Through his first six games, Sturm struggled to generate any scoring chances with only three shots on goal and a minus-5 rating. He simply did not have the foot-speed to keep up with his linemates nor did he fit in with coach Alain Vigneault’s system. The team probably could have waited a bit longer to make a decision but the writing was on the ice. He holds very limited fantasy hockey value at this point, likely replacing Sean Bergenheim or Tim Kennedy on the third line.
Samuelsson, over his first six games this season, pushed 13 shots at the net with a goal and three points. By comparison, Booth only registered one assist with his new linemates while throwing 14 shots on goal. Considering both players will play on the team’s second line, the actual role (in real life terms) is a wash. Samuelsson actually gives the team a strong right handed shot for the PP, which should push the stone hands of Jason Garrison off a unit. Regardless, his fantasy hockey value plummets while not playing with the Sedins with the man advantage, or having the option to do so at even strength.
Most importantly for the Cats, the team can choose not to re-sign these players at the end of the season and gain salary flexibility next year. Tallon consistently explains that he needs to cut budget if the team doesn’t win now. The 3-3-0 Panthers want to get better but hedged their bets by getting rid of an old-regime scorer.
Booth, a former 30-goal scorer should actually work well in Vancouver next to Ryan Kesler — the two actually played together for Team USA during the WJHC in both 2002 (U-18) and 2004 (U-20). Together, they could do wonders with either Cody Hodgson or Chris Higgins. It also gives coach Vigneault options should the team want to mix their lines around. Should Mason Raymond return this season their depth would be exponentially stronger.
Perhaps the best aspect of the deal for the Canucks was re-acquiring their third round pick, which would allow them to offer sheet any player over the next offseason, leading to a plethora of trade rumors. Among those in next year’s RFA crops: Shea Weber, Mike Green, David Krejci, Matt Duchene, Evander Kane, Chris Stewart, James Neal and Carey Price. Let the trade rumors begin! Oh, and add David Booth…