Fantasy Impact: Vancouver has acquired winger David Booth from Florida in exchange for Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm.
The Canucks get: A soon-to-be 27-year-old winger known for his two-way play, speed, and tenacity. Booth has battled a couple of serious concussions in recent years, but he was healthy last season. He loves to shoot the puck, finishing with 23 goals and close to 300 shots on goal in 2010-11. He has scored at least 20 goals in each of his last three full seasons (not counting the concussion-plagued 2009-10 campaign). The Canucks also receive Steven Reinprecht, who they will bury in the minor leagues, and a 2012 3rd round draft pick (their own, a pick they traded last deadline to acquire Chris Higgins).
The Panthers get: A streaky veteran in Samuelsson, who can play in a variety of spots in the lineup. They also received Sturm, a player Vancouver recently signed this summer. Sturm has looked out of sorts this season, and appears to be a shadow of his former self. Both wingers are free agents next summer, which opens up some cap flexibility for the Panthers.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Booth will slide in alongside Ryan Kesler on line two. In the short term, he bumps one of Cody Hodgson or Chris Higgins down to the third line (sounds like it will be Hodgson, to start). Florida has so many forwards who could play anywhere from line two to line four, and Samuelsson and Sturm are two more. Booth also represents another option to play with the Sedin twins on the top unit.
In the long term, Booth may replace Mason Raymond in the top six (Raymond is an RFA next summer). Raymond is still recovering from a broken back and likely won’t return until December or January. Hodgson can play wing, but the team may decide to send him to Chicago to get some time as the top center. He’s play well this season, but the Canucks are in a position where they don’t need to rush him.
Both Booth and Kesler are shoot-first players. It will be interesting to see if Higgins can stick there, or if the team wants more of a playmaker in that spot? Hodgson is a crafty player and could fit in well. It remains to be seen what type of capacity he settles in to, as the Canucks are completely full up the middle.
Getting a big, strong winger to play with Kesler has been a pressing need for the Canucks, and they hope Booth will fill the void. His salary (over $4 million per for four more years) represents a bit of a risk, as does his injury history. However, they paid 10 cents on the dollar to get him, essentially “buying” him for the cost of Reinprecht’s contract (players in the AHL don’t count against the NHL salary cap, regardless of how much money they make).
Samuelsson was skating on Vancouver’s top PP unit. Look for Sami Salo to slide in there and play with Edler, Kesler, and the Sedin twins – at least when he is healthy. Salo’s shot is one of the best in the league, and it was on full display on Saturday against the Wild.
Florida’s top line appears to be set with Weiss centering Versteeg and Fleischmann. Samuelsson should slide in with Upshall and Kopecky on line two, at least for now. This opens up two roster spots in Florida starting next season, as it is unlikely Samuelsson or Sturm return.
I don’t think the Canucks are done trading.
“Booth has a history with his new linemates. The 26-year-old Detroit native played with Higgins last season and was a member of the U.S National Development Team program with Kesler in 2001-02. Booth will hear how the culture in the Canucks' room is one of acceptance and accountability. Higgins was at a career crossroads last February when he arrived at the trade deadline and went from fourth line to second-line performer, from a playoff question mark to exclamation mark in playing the last three series on a fractured foot.
"I think he'll fit in pretty quickly," Higgins said of Booth. "He's a pretty easy guy to like and works hard on and off the ice. He's committed to being a hockey player and that's a tell-tale sign of this team -- guys who carry themselves well."
Fantasy players this helps, in order:
4. Evgeni Dadonov (opens up long term winger spot)
5. Shawn Matthias
6. Florida’s forward prospects (general, but at this point hard to project who will rise to the top by next season – Huberdeau, Repik, Grimaldi, Bjugstad, and Howden are all candidates).
Fantasy players this hurts, in order:
1. Hodgson (short term)
2. Raymond (long term)
3. Samuelsson (could see more ice time, but won’t play with linemates as talented)
4. Sturm (not that he had much value to begin with)
This trade represents the fourth made between the two teams since 2006. The Luongo blockbuster, the Ballard-Grabner trade, and the Higgins 2011 deadline deal all preceeded this one.
A funny video put together after the trade: