Who's this guy?
David Jonathan Booth. Good ol' DJB, not to be confused with the Dark Jedi Brotherhood, an online Star Wars fan club that creates characters who follow the Dark Side of the force. Booth has Skywalker hair anyway.
In the "B" section of the ER Left Wing
It's coming right for us! Left
Weight: 200 lbs
Born: November 24, 1984 in Detroit, MI. Shortly after delivery, he shot his first Thanksgiving turkey.
History: Drafted in the 2nd round (53rd overall) by the Florida Panthers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. In that round Vancouver had no pick because they moved it to Pittsburgh in exchange for Johan Hedberg the previous season. Instead the Pens took Alex Goligoski and Vancouver waited until the 91st slot in the third round to roll the dice on some bag of bones named Alexander Edler.
What'd he do?
Cam Barker played more minutes this season than David Booth. Hold up, I jumped too far ahead. Lemme back up.
After spending his summer shooting things and explaining to others why he enjoys shooting things, Booth showed up at training camp and - along with Mason Raymond - was projected to be leaned on heavily for production to help offset the loss of the still-injured Ryan Kesler. What could possibly go wrong? Well fair reader, seeing how this is the Vancouver Canucks we're talking about and small tragedies quietly await them behind every corner, it took only a few days of training before Booth knocked himself out 4-6 weeks with a groin injury suffered from allegedly over-training.
With the steady aplomb of a marksman, fans surmised crazy things happen, Booth will heal and return with a vengeance, almost at the same time as the Keslord himself (so just ignore this unfortunate turn of events makes the Canucks effectively a one line team). Perhaps vengeance was too strong a word, but return Sir Booth did on February 19th in a losing effort against Chicago. Four games later he notched his first assist against Los Angeles and five games after that he tallied his first score (see below!) against Nashville. The collective enjoyment fans bathed in knowing the Canucks had their second line again was short-lived as during the very next game against Detroit Booth wrecked his ankle - as random an injury as you'll see - while racing out an icing (in those fancy threads too) and his 2012-13 tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury ended...signifying nothing.
Well "nothing" isn't really fair either. He played a total of 12 games and added three points (1G, 2A), or roughly $1.42 million in cap space per point. So, OK, a little more fury...
So was he any good?
Booth played one-fourth of a season that was already cut in half, so comparing stats from the previous year as I usually do is pointless. The guy was cursed, pure and simple.
Just to put some comical stank on Booth's mess is that in his short time with healthy ankles and a sound groin he played with three different centers (Maxim Lapierre, Chris Higgins and Jordan Schroeder) and his most frequent linemate was Zack Kassian. Sure AV had to fold him into the mix gradually from the bottom six, but still that's not a recipe for offensive success either.
What'd we like?
Here's 100% of his goals during the 2012-2013 campaign.
Booth was credited with
three 24 hits this season. Here's a third of it 4.1% of them.
Booth has a sister. Here's 100% of her.
Cool. So what did we hate?
So what now?
When Booth arrived in 2011, it why easy to see why Gillis jumped at the chance to add him to the top six and advanced stats after his first year proved it. But sprinkling rare moments of of 'power forward' here and 'chemistry with Kesler' there doesn't blind most to the blaring clown horn that's been Booth's stint so far in Vancouver. Sure it's not his fault Kevin Porter can't control his own knees or that injuries seem to follow him like a shadow, but his arrival coincided with a stark downturn in the team's once bright, immediate future so he's an immensely easy target to point at and ponder aloud where the return on investment is.
Nevertheless, the reality is Vancouver is married to Booth because he can't be bought out and, equally important, you can't trade that which no one wants. It's bad enough Gillis will (probably) take a bath on the Luongo return; there's no reason to double down with whatever paltry return Booth would yield and, moreover, who would replace him anyway? Being vexed isn't any reason to jettison a young guy who's capable of 30+ goals...at least not yet. So like last season he'll be expected to show up in September, reunite with Kesler and [insert winger name here] to provide the much needed but still elusive secondary scoring. Surely no one wants to come back and make a statement worse than he does.
Best case scenario: He remains healthy, helps re-establish a productive second line and rewards his team with a 40-50 pt campaign.
Worst case scenario: Honestly, didn't we just see it?