David Booth sent to Utica*

*on a conditioning loan.

No, this does not mean that David Booth is going to hang out in the American Hockey League until his contract is bought out. Conditioning loans are quite common and can’t be done without the player’s consent, according to the relevant article of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

13.8 Conditioning Loan. Unless a Player consents, he shall not be Loaned on a Conditioning Loan to a minor league club. Such Conditioning Loan shall not extend for more than fourteen (14) consecutive days. The Commissioner may take whatever steps he deems necessary to investigate the circumstances under which a Player is Loaned on a Conditioning Loan. If the Commissioner has reason to believe or determines that the Club has used the Conditioning Loan to evade Waivers, or otherwise Circumvent any provision of this Agreement, he may take such disciplinary action against the Club, as he deems appropriate. The Player shall continue, during the period of such Conditioning Loan, to receive the same Paragraph 1 NHL Salary, and be entitled to the same benefits, that he would have received had he continued to play with the Club.

Who knows how long this stint will be, although my guess is Booth will be back skating with the Canucks sooner rather than later. Booth had actually said he was expecting to play on the team’s upcoming four-game road trip but apparently the coaching and medical staffs disagreed.

Booth has had a divisive tenure as a Canuck. He looked to be a sure thing after being traded from Florida at the start of the 2011-2012 season. Despite no history of lower-body injuries, Booth has had four in his brief time in Vancouver, and despite scoring 16 goals in 56 games with the team in 2012, an excellent pace for a second liner, Booth’s offensive game has tanked since then. He’s gotten no real chance to string a bunch of games together thanks to injuries, and when he does play, well, he’s shot at 5.1% in that frame.

The funny thing is that even though Booth has seemingly not taken a shot in the 2013-2014 season, he’s played reasonably well without the puck. The Canucks have out-shot the opposition 64-49 when Booth is on the ice, and despite missing the last four games, he still leads the team with a +4 penalty differential. Regardless, there’s still so much wasted offensive talent when he’s had the puck this season. Canucks Army’s Patrick Johnson threw out the possibility before this most recent of ailments that there was still something going on with him, since Booth has gone from taking just under 3 shots on goal per game through his career to just 12 in his first 11 games.

I don’t see why Booth isn’t just as good of a candidate to fill in and score 10-15 goals for the remainder of the season as Jeremy Welsh, or Darren Archibald or who have you. I’d like to see him put something together and certainly don’t think that he’s as bad as his boxcar numbers indicate. Good hockey players don’t become bad hockey players overnight, but Booth appeared to do just that.

“Best guess” gets thrown out the window when talking about this player. Maybe he’ll have a short conditioning assignment and re-join the team before the road trip is up? Either rate, he can’t stay in Utica past the 18th.

  • asdf

    Wow, didn’t see that coming! I figured will all the injuries they would be desperate to get him back. I mean, he has to be better than Sestito and Weber and possibly some others? Conditioning isn’t usually his problem. Maybe he is in the doghouse with Torts because of all his hunting videos. He could be the new Ballard.

  • asdf

    Does this have anything to do with the management wishing to give Dalpe a longer look before deciding to waive (to send him to Utica) or keep him on the roster? Gets them until at least the 18th.

    That would mean that Archibald has taken “somebody”‘s job, and that somebody for now is David Booth.

    In any case, this is a 180 change from MG and Tortorella’s view of Booth in the preseason, who described him as a veteran, a player with such calibre not requiring preseason as much as caution from the team to keep him healthy.

    Quite the fall from grace.

  • asdf

    I figured Tortorella would have enough fairy dust to turn either Kassian or Booth into Callahan…

    In any case, hopefully he’s at least used as a regular in the top 9 if/when he returns to Vancouver.

  • BrudnySeaby

    Wow. I was one of the handful who believed Booth would turn it around this season and have a good year and be worth the money to be a significant contributor on the second line. But despite the good possession numbers, he’s been pretty brutal so far this season.
    The conditioning loan could be as simple as he’s not quite 100% ready to come back, wants to get in some games, but would be a liability playing for the Canucks at this point. So they send him to AHL while he finishes his recovery. At least I can hope, and then be vindicated if he comes back to VAN playing strong again 🙂
    Regardless, I’ve climbing down from the Booth bandwagon and only have a foot left on there. Hopefully he’s worth something to some team to free up some cap space for forward depth at the deadline.

  • asdf

    Lucky Callahan’s a UFA next summer then. And with all that Booth buyout cap space….

    Seriously though, after his first (decent) season with the Canucks, he’s had 23 injury interrupted games where his shot rate has dipped and he’s had some bad luck with percentages. Why judge him on a period of 39 shots?

    • BrudnySeaby

      If he played better he would have better linemates. He hasnt meshed with anyone since he came to Vancouver. He has all the skill, speed and size, but he is broken. He is on his last legs on this team, he may just end up being a very expensive 3rd liner until the end of the season.

  • DCR

    I think it might be in part a snakebite cure.

    Let him go down to the A and hopefully score some goals and see if any of the production translates when he comes back up.

  • BrudnySeaby

    LOL. Or maybe he hasn’t blocked shots? Like Torts said, “If you don’t block shots, you don’t play!”

    In all seriousness though, I’m sure the Canucks are sending a msg as much as him getting in more minutes with the Comets than the

  • BrudnySeaby

    I like this on both sides. Booth will get tons of ice time and maybe a little perspective playing down in Utica. He has the talent but needs to bring a different attitude every night. Start as a third liner and hopefully earn a second line spot. Glad to see he is willing to do it.

  • BrudnySeaby

    Oh the Corsi King, he might not be productive but the bloggers love him because he possesses them.

    He is a decent third line winger. It’s what he has devolved in to. That’s okay. But you don’t pay decent third liners $4.5 million (and yes it matters. Cap space totally matters.

    Since we are stuck with him, I hope his time in the ‘A’ burns a fire in his gut and reminds him how precious an NHL job is. Otherwise, it might be best to simply keep him there a la Wade Redden.

    • BrudnySeaby

      I was under the impression you couldn’t bury contracts in the minors anymore with the new CBA. I think you still get a cap hit. Can anyone confirm that for me.

      • BrudnySeaby

        I believe the Canucks would receive a $0.925 million cap “benefit” with Booth in the minors with the remaining portion of his cap hit on the books.

        So, for example, the Canucks could give his roster spot to someone like Jensen.

        But considering all the placeholder forwards currently on the NHL roster, it doesn’t really make sense to have Booth in Utica once this loan period exires…

  • BrudnySeaby

    I’m assuming what this really means is a “timing loan” since there’s basically no way I believe that Booth of all people needs help with his conditioning.