Offseason Changes Near
David Booth‘s ankle rehab could throw the Vancouver Canucks a curve ball as the buyout period approaches for NHL teams this offseason. As Jason Botchford reported last week Booth’s extended rehab could keep the Canucks from buying out his injury-protected contract if he isn’t cleared to play by July 4th.
This essentially forces the Canucks to cross their fingers and hope for better luck with Booth who has had endured a rough ride since coming to Vancouver.
As Botchford mentioned last week David Booth seems like the right power forward for the Canucks on paper, but has struggled to stay healthy. At times he has even looked like the perfect fit alongside Ryan Kesler, and yet the former Florida Panther appeared to be on the buyout block after another disappointing season in Vancouver.
Despite promising a serious off-season shake-up, could Mike Gillis have been given a blessing in disguise by being forced to keep his religious power-forward?
Frankly the Canucks are lucky to be out of this year’s inflated power forward market, and an extra amnesty buyout could have interesting implications in Roberto Luongo‘s departure.
If forced to keep Booth the Canucks alleviate any pressure to trade their former starting goaltender this summer, giving Mike Gillis back a few joules of bargaining power after watching the trade market evaporate at this year’s deadline.
And after rumours surrounding Roberto Luongo’s return to the Islanders started swirling in late May there could still be a chance for GM MG to find a decent return for his former star.
The buyout situation may not be optimal for a fanbase that remains bloodthirsty for change after two seasons ending in playoff disappointment, yet it could ultimately lead to the best resolution for a team that remains within a season’s reach of contending for the Stanley Cup.
The Canucks employ a number of integral players with no-movement clauses attached to their contracts, and with a new coach expected to take the team in a new direction minimal player movement over the summer could be a good thing for a core of players that have simply underperformed in the past.
David Booth is sure to have a short leash with Canucks fans after two underwhelming seasons with the team, but a new coach and a clean bill of health could be all the power forward needs to succeed in Vancouver.