The Canucks have traded Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm to the Florida Panthers in exchange for David Booth, Steven Reinprecht and a third round draft pick. Amazing that these same two teams have come together on yet another trade. As you might recall, Florida and Vancouver have teamed up on the Bure-Jovanovski, Bertuzzi-Luongo, Grabner-Ballard trades among others.
This trade is interesting on a number of fronts. In getting rid of Samuelsson (34) and Sturm (33), the Canucks will get younger up front. Samuelsson had been facing a lot of criticism by media and fans last year and early this year. I’m in the minority in that I didn’t mind his overall play. I think he has a lot to give still, especially in the playoffs given his experience. I never understood why the Canucks decided to go after Marco Sturm this offseason, and after six uninspiring games, Mike Gillis now agrees.
The key to the deal for the Canucks is David Booth. Three years ago Booth looked destined to be a front line player for many years when he broke out with a 31 goal season at age 23. The following season he suffered a concussion on a vicious hit from Mike Richards and hasn’t been the same player since. Still, Booth was able to score 23 goals last year and played in all 82 games. Booth has good speed, grit and scoring ability. Sounds like he might be a good fit with Ryan Kesler, doesn’t he?
Steven Reinprecht is a key to the deal as well, but not in the way you might think. The cash strapped Panthers were paying Reinprecht $2.05 million to play in the AHL this season. The Canucks will likely do the same, so don’t run out to the Canucks Team Store just yet to get “Reinprecht” printed on the back of your jersey (unless it’s a Chicago Wolves jersey of course).
The Canucks will win this trade if David Booth plays up to his potential and becomes a fixture with Ryan Kesler on the second line. He has shown the ability to score 30+ goals in the NHL which is no small feat. Of course, this trade will blow up in Mike Gillis’ face if Booth struggles. Booth’s contract pays him $4.25 million for four more years.
This trade will also alleviate the logjam of wingers the Canucks had. With the impressive showing by Cody Hodgson early this season as well as impending return of Mason Raymond in a few months, the Canucks will simply have too many 2nd/3rd line wingers.
The Canucks lose Samuelsson’s valuable experience and I am loathed to see him go, but I think the David Booth is worth the price.