Canucks add top-6 talent
After only six regular season games Gillis had seen enough, correcting his mistake by packaging Sturm and fellow aging winger Mikael Samuelsson in a deal with the Florida Panthers that sends the Canucks David Booth, Steve Reinprecht and Florida’s third round pick in 2013.
On the surface, Gillis appears to have sweet-talked his favourite trading partners, the Florida Panthers, into another one-side deal.
Gillis shipped away Sturm and Samuelsson who both were beginning to show signs of their age on the Canucks, and most importantly received a top-six forward in return to play alongside Ryan Kesler.
Financially, the trade begins to make more sense from the perspective of Dale Talon and the Panthers.
Like past Panther pick-up Keith Ballard, Booth comes attached to a lengthy $4.25 million contract signed through 2014-15.
Meanwhile Steven Reinprecht and his $2.05 million contract have been assigned to the AHL.
Sturm, Samuelsson and Reinprecht all become unrestricted free agents at the end of the current season.
The contrast of contracts going both ways and the familiarity of Booth with his expected new linemates in Vancouver makes this an intriguing trade for Gillis and the Canucks who have been in need of an additional top-six winger for some time.
Booth and Kesler both played on the 2001-02 U.S. junior national team and should fit nicely alongside countrymen (and ex Florida teammate) Chris Higgins on the second line.
While it may take Booth some time to adjust to new teammates following a tearful farewell in Florida, the winger is expected to thrive in his new environment after years of Sunbelt hockey.
He would be wise to talk to new teammate Keith Ballard on life on the Canucks after the blueliner’s tough transition to Alain Vigneault’s dog house for the majority of last season.
In a new city with the potential for playoff hockey on the horizon David Booth has a new lease on life in the Northwest division.
Canucks fans hope their all new, all-American second line won’t take long to answer that.