David Booth is heading to upstate New York on a “conditioning assignment“.
An interesting development, as Booth was quoted today as saying that he will be joining the Canucks on their upcoming road trip, and then within hours, he was assigned to Utica on a ‘conditioning assignment’. In the CBA, a player that was placed on IR, can be assigned to the AHL on a conditioning assignment for up to 14 days without being subject to waivers. Usually this is done in an effort to get a player up to game speed, without taking the risk in the NHL.
But Booth has only been out for 8 days, thus the conditioning assignment is odd, as he should be close to game speed. Booth is a workout fanatic, so it’s hard to believe he needs “conditioning”. This could be viewed as another step by the Canucks (he was previously scratched) to get Booth going again, but this is a drastic step and usually unheard of, unless a player is returning from a long term injury.
When Booth returns to the NHL, and if he can get into the lineup, it is likely this is his last chance to prove himself a serviceable player for the Canucks. Otherwise the Canucks may take the road of sitting him for the remainder of the season to ensure that they use their remaining compliance buy out to buy him out at years end (as injured players are unable to be bought out).
Follow Ryan Biech on twitter @ryanbiech