On Saturday, as you undoubtedly have already heard, Canucks GM Mike Gillis announced a long rumored trade with Florida that played out like this:
To FLA: Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelson + 4th rounder
To VAN: David Booth, Steven Reinprecht + 3rd rounder
Booth has suffered two major concussions over the past three seasons and carries a 4.25 million dollar cap hit for this and three more seasons; seems like an awful lot to commit to a guy with a soft bean, but hey, I'm nothing short of ecstatic.
Booth played all 82 games last season and regained his 20+ goal form a weak Panthers club. He's described as a powerful and fast skater but measures out at 6'0", 212 Lb...that's a lot of power.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mikael Samuelson for a couple solid seasons in Vancouver, but by trading he and Sturm the Canucks actually dump salary as they combine for a 4.7 million dollar payday.
I'm really surprised this is the best package that David Booth could fetch. At 26 he's overcome some health challenges but his upside is amazing. Florida went out and paid big money to free agents, not to mention acquired the once thought untradable contract of Brian Campbell this past offseason - that's a pretty strong indication that this deal wasn't for monetary purposes. And, Florida is off to a great start and looks to be able to challenge for a playoff spot - does adding two slow veteran forwards really fit in to their plans?
A move of this magnitude this early in the season makes me wonder if Mike Gillis is trying to keep up with the NHL Joneses. At the conclusion of last season I didn't feel the window was closing on the Canucks, and I didn't blink even after we lost Christian Ehrhoff to free agency but was that necessarily the sentiment amongst the Canucks' brass?
Before this afternoon's game we saw footage of Mason Raymond skating. Chris Higgins has been spectacular to start this season and has worked his way on to the second line and Mike Gillis had this to say about Cody Hodgson:
"...Cody Hodgson is in that mix as well, so we'll see how it works out.”
I don't really think a GM like Mike Gillis comes out and makes statements about a prospect like that if he is going to be considered trade bait.
That's three players for one position and we know the Canucks aren't keeping CoHo around to change positions and move to the wing on the third line, so is he bound for AHL or is he going to be part of yet another move? Does the seemingly NHL ready Eddie Lack put Cory Schneider in to play?
A quick look at the NHL landscape shows a broadening of the upper echelon. Don't look now but Detroit isn't slowing down as we all (hoped) thought. Washington GM George McPhee's offseason retooling seems to have put Washington over the top. Philly's brash offseason remodel is paying dividends. Chicago reloaded on the gritt and depth that surrounded their talented core during their cup run. San Jose added Martin Havlat and Brett Burns this offseason. Pittsburgh is looking like they may very well be the team to beat and Sidney Crosby is still out.
This team could go to the finals again, but could they win it? Not with the same offense that wimped out in the finals last year.
So what else could we see? What if the wheels fall off in New Jersey and being named Captain isn't enough to keep Zach Parise around? Won't a Schneider+ for Parise even as a rental address the lack of secondary scoring issue come June?
Surprise! Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn are NHL ready - where does this leave Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek? Wojtek Wolski isn't fitting in again. The Isles are loaded with young talent up front and are going to have to clear room for Neriderreiter, Rakshanni and Strome, is it enough to force them to move Blake Comeau's 2.5 million cap hit off the third line? Columbus is hurting...bad. Derrick Brassard won't last the season. Do the Sens move an Alffy, Spezza or Michalek for the right package of picks and prospects?
I don't think the Canucks are done yet.
Bri and Josh talkin' Canucks - http://soundcloud.com/you/tracks