EDMONTON, CANADA - OCTOBER 25: Newly acquired David Booth #7 of the Vancouver Canucks steps off the ice following warm-up against the Edmonton Oilers on October 25, 2011 at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Who Is This Guy?
Weight: 212 lbs.
Born: November 24, 1984 in Detroit, Michigan
Drafted: 2nd round, 53rd overall by the Florida Panthers in 2004
What Did He Do?
Apparently, the Canucks were after Booth for quite some time. We knew they wanted to beef up the top 6. Booth played with Ryan Kesler on line 2 immediately, as not only are both players from Michigan, but they also played together on a line for the Americans in the World Juniors in 2004. Line 2 was his destiny. He did see minimal time with the Sedins, where I still think he should be given more of a chance. I mean, the guy loves to go to the net.
So, Was He Any Good?
Booth's speed, skill set and rough-and-tough style were immediately apparent. It took Booth 7 games to score his first goal with the Canucks, and it was against the right opponent too:
Booth played 19 games, scored 5 goals and 7 assists up to December 6 and then this happened:
Damn you, Kevin Porter!
Booth did not play again until January 15. As soon as he returned he went on a hot streak, scoring 6 goals and 4 assists on 12 games.
Booth played 56 games with the Canucks last season, scored 16 goals (6th on the team) and added 13 assists. He was a +1 (15th on the team), had 32 penalty minutes, 69 hits, 3 power play goals (7th), 1 game winner and 145 shots on goal (8th). He averaged about 15:00 of ice time per game.
With both the Canucks and Panthers, Booth scored 3 goals and 6 assists in 29 road games. Not impressive. However, he scored 13 goals and 8 assists in 33 home games.
Booth's game-to-game stats can be seen here.
Booth's career stats:
Wouldn't it be great to see him repeat his 2008-09 performance? Booth is the 4th highest paid Canuck forward on the team ($4.25 million per season for the next 3 years). I know it's fair to say that at THAT price tag, he needs to put up more than .5 points per game.
So was David Booth any good? Yes. And no. On to the next question.
But, He Wasn't Perfect Either, Right?
Like I said above, Booth is going to have to score more than .50 points per game to earn his $4.25 million salary. Last season, Line 2 was not good enough. Both Ryan Kesler and Booth had their moments, but much of the time looked like they lacked chemistry. Both players loved to try carrying the puck into the zone and try to get by 2 or 3 defenders, leaving their linemates behind or unnoticed. It got annoying.
When Booth's hot streak ended on February 15, he went cold. He played 25 games after that streak and only scored 5 goals and 2 assists in that span. At least he was only a -3. The cold streak continued into the playoffs where he only had 1 assist in 5 games vs the Kings. While the Sedins accomplished a point a game vs L.A., Line 2 did not come through at all.
So when someone tries to paint a positive picture of Booth like this, don't fall for that. It is completely unacceptable to be playing in the top 6 and drying up THAT BADLY in the latter part of the season. Booth was not alone in this futility.
So, What Now?
Hopefully Booth can find some luck in the injury department. If he can play 80 games next season and find some gel with his linemates, I expect a 30-30-60 season from him. And he's going to have to do that without Kesler in the lineup until December. Maybe some time apart from eachother will be a good thing. I look forward to see what Booth brings in his second season in Vancouver. I love his speed. I love his tenacity. Now let's see the consistency.