According to the Vancouver Canucks Twitter feed hunting enthusiast, controversial Tweeter and second-line power winger David Booth will be out 4-6 weeks with a strained groin that he aggravated on Sunday during the club’s fitness testing.
AV: Booth had an MRI done yesterday. He will be out approximately 4-6 weeks.
— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) January 15, 2013
Some ramblings on Vancouver’s quickly eroding depth after the jump.
Obviously with Ryan Kesler already on the shelf recovering from a pair of offseason surgeries, overcoming the loss of David Booth for four to six weeks could prove to be a tall order. At practice today the Canucks replaced Booth with winger Zack Kassian, who joined Mason Raymond in flanking centres Andrew Ebbett and Jordan Schroeder (one of them will start the season as the club’s second line pivot in Kesler’s absence) on the presumed second line. We’ve already set the over-under for how many defensive zone-starts that line gets at four so place your bets in the comment.
While Booth didn’t have the most productive season by the counting stats in his first time out with the Canucks, he was one of the club’s most efficient scorers – both on the power-play and at evens – and he drove play like no other. His presence was a big reason why I felt like the Canucks would be able to tread water without Ryan Kesler in the lineup for the first few weeks (at least) of the season.
Booth’s absence will put Zack Kassian in the limelight, and place a lot of pressure on both him and Mason Raymond to produce. That isn’t ideal considering the tender age of the former player and the intense scrutiny the latter faces whenever he blunders on a scoring chance. It could also test Vancouver’s organizational depth should another winger go down.
Presumably in that grim scenario a player like Bill Sweatt, Dale Weise or an out of position Jordan Schroeder would get a chance to step into the top-9. Alternatively, perhaps Maxim Lapierre could step up in a pinch and reprise the top-six winger role he was reasonably successful in at the tail end of last season. Either way, Vancouver’s options will get limited in a hurry if they sustain any further injuries.
It’s looking a lot like Mike Gillis was dead on when he said player health would be key in an injured seasons. Sadly for the Canucks, it looks like they’ve ended up on the cruel side of Lady Fortuna’s trusty old fate wheel.