Buying out David Booth – Weekend Watchability Index

It’s Good Friday, so naturally, we’ll talk David Booth.

I thought this debate up at Sportsnet was interesting: Dimitri and Dan Murphy agreed that buying David Booth out doesn’t make a lot of sense, though there was a financial point I don’t think either man touched on. Booth is still owed $4.25-million on his contract for one more year and even if his salary cap hit will be taken off the books next year, it makes no sense for the guy actually signing the cheques.

The buyout would save the Canucks a little over $1.4-million, although you have to consider that the Canucks will need to replace that production somehow. Booth only did score 19 points on the season but he did do that with a shooting percentage below his career rate (7.7%, career of 9.1%) and a 6.5% on-ice rate.

Watching Booth work with Zack Kassian down the stretch made me wonder what those two could accomplish with a legitimate trigger-man at centre. It’s difficult to find comparables for Booth’s last three years which have been a bit of a disaster. In 1683.8 minutes played, the Canucks have 10.4 shots per 20 minutes while Booth is on the ice and a 6.3% shooting rate. Those sorts of numbers turn up a lot of players who didn’t exactly stick around for the next season, but a few who did saw a reasonable correction to the mean.

Guys like Justin Williams:

Year MINs SF/20 On-Ice Sh% Next season Sh%
Justin Williams 2007-10 1661.7 11.3 6.8% 8.0%

Or Jordin Tootoo:

Year MINs SF/20 On-Ice Sh% Next season Sh%
Jordin Tootoo 2007-10 1943.0 10.2 5.7% 9.5%

The plural of “anecdote” isn’t “data” but being pressed for time, I can’t go through every example right now. I’m sure in the comments somebody will find a few players who had rough shooting luck for three years and continued to put up lousy numbers in later years. The point is moreso that there are so many players that could have been useful that were dumped after three years of injuries and lousy on-ice shooting. Booth obviously isn’t Justin Williams, but even Williams, a top-line player on a contending team at age 32, went through a period of rough injury and shooting luck.

If you asked hockey players to flip coins, and said everybody with a heads gets a good shooting year and everybody who flips tails gets a bad shooting year, there are indubitably going to be a few unlucky ones who flip four or five tails in a row. You wouldn’t gauge anybody who flipped tails five times in a row (as is bound to happen over a few dozen flips) as a lousy coin-flipper, and I think sometimes hockey is too quick to label players “bad shooters” before shuttling them out of the league.

Returning to Booth—analyze the risk and reward scenarios of the Canucks buying him out. The team probably shouldn’t be spending a lot of money in free agency this year, and the removal of Roberto Luongo’s contract already gives them some cap space to work with if you wanted to add another player (they have $10-million or so to spend, but already have 20 guys under contract, plus whatever rookies are coming up). Ultimately, the $1.4-million savings by the team, plus whatever is used to find Booth’s replacement (at least $550K, but there’s no guarantee a replacement-level player matches Booth’s current production), doesn’t seem worth it from a strict financial sense.

I think if you’re going the buyout route, look for a contract that’s a bit longer.


The Canucks aren’t in the playoffs, but so far we’ve seen seven remarkably watchable hockey games. Here are the ones I’m looking forward to this weekend:

Game 2 – Montreal vs. Tampa Bay – Friday @ 4:00 p.m. Pacific

The hook: Game 1 was like giving two eight-year-olds a gallon of their favourite carbonated sugar water and letting them loose in Disneyland. Montreal controlled 60% of the score-close, even strength shots, because nothing in this crazy world makes sense, and Anders Lindback out-goaltended Carey Price until the overtime, because nothing in this crazy world makes sense, and Dale Weise scored the winner late in the first overtime period, because why the hell not.

Considering the best Lightning player in the first game, possession-wise, was depth winger JT Brown who had some real good shifts cycling and setting up chances, there’s probably a bit more from them than we saw in Game 1. I just hope the play doesn’t become structured and boring.

Game 2 – Detroit vs. Boston – Sunday @ noon Pacific

The hook: A hell of a hangover special here. I’m thinking that NBC may use it’s A-team (which somehow involves Pierre McGuire) for Flyers/Rangers, so set your alarm clock a bit later for Game 2 here. This is so far the only series that hasn’t played a game yet, but it’s a pretty compelling matchup now that the Wings have Pavel Datsyuk back in the lineup. The important head-to-head aspect of this contest? Gustav Nyquist’s unsustainable shooting percentage versus Tuukka Rask.

Game 2 – Los Angeles vs. San Jose – Sunday @ 7:00 p.m. Pacific

The hook: Jonathan Quick is lucky that the rest of the hockey world was too busy watching overtime Thursday night and thus nobody watched him crap the bed against the Sharks. San Jose completely dominated, taking 68% of the score close Corsis in 15 minutes of action, and like Tampa, the Kings have another gear they can step up to, and they’d probably have found it in the first game of the series had Quick not gone all 2010 Jonathan Quick on us.

Also, per Extra Skater, Willie Mitchell was a 12.5% Corsi and Scott Hannan went 92.9%? Sure.

Game 3 – Tampa Bay vs. Montreal – Sunday @ 4:00 p.m. Pacific

The hook: Sorry, but I think this is going to be a hell of an exciting series and worth watching every minute, despite Glenn Healy. I sometimes think that the quality of team uniforms does affect my enjoyment of a game, and this is the best matchup as far as I’m concerned, with simple designs and contrasting colours, loud buildings, and exciting forwards with questionable defensive support. I love the Eastern Conference.

  • ned

    I doubt the aquabros want to pay Garrison for all those years for nothing, whereas buying out Booth it’ll only be two years of payment for nothing, that would be satisfactory for the owners pocket books imho.

  • ned

    Canucks will spend the next 5 years trying to undue what Gillis did. Then they will spend 5 more years undoing what Burke did and 5 more after that undoing what Linden will do.

    Booth is just a little garbage can fire the Canucks have called out the entire fire fleet to deal with.

  • jung gun

    Apparently Nyquist’s shooting percentage over the past two years, albeit in the AHL, has hovered around 0.14. Does this potentially suggest that his NHL S% might not be unreasonably high at 18%? I ask because of the work that’s been done, and posted about on CA, on the slight differences between goalies in the AHL and NHL, especially how a relatively unknown goalie in the A can make the jump and be a complete revelation, or, in other words: pretty damn good. Anyway, 18% is high, but even if he drops down to around 14%, he’s a fine sniper, and he’ll put up approximately 39 goals is he maintains 2.25 shots a game with a shooting percentage of 0.14.

    Anybody think Edler would work as trade bait for this guy?

          • giveittocheech

            I know I’m not as far as the math goes, but I don’t honestly think Edler would work as trade bait. There might be potential for some kind of blockbuster deal there, but it’d require more going their way, like Kesler, for whom we’d probably snag Mantha and a first. So, Kesler plus Edler for Mantha, Nyquist, and a 1st. That’d be fine with me, and it seems to benefit both teams.

          • giveittocheech

            We are talking about Alex Error here. The guy who kicks goals into his own net and is a -39 worst in the league this year.

            I don’t think the Canucks can even get a bag of potato chips for him. Maybe they can get another awful player in return , but hence the same problem exists.

          • – no use in hating fellow canadian teams the league rules out viability for cup here

            – canadian market is seen as a safe house fore bettman and his merry men while they try to go looting for us dough

            – or did you know? cananda is the land of monopolies ie wheat board, cheese board, milk board, icbc, transit, there’s even a baord for a board, thus mayor ford is popular, he’s not one of the pigs in power although he is a pig

            – montreal fans are more prone to mutany unlike west coast where losing is accepted

            – fans need revolution against bettman, it’s easy to break nhl chains because hockey is not vital. time to gouge the gougers

  • andyg

    Seems with the end of the regular season, the trolls are out in force! Dancing on the Canucks grave. Have fun while it lasts Oil and flames fans.

    The idea of a turn around is not that far fetched. The confluence of a lack of young NHL ready talent, mixed with the wrong coach and a mass of injuries brought the Canucks to a low point that was probably 2-3 yrs away from happening anyway. A new coaching philosophy with an addition of Jensen Coreado Horvat and at least 2 FAs in the top 6 forwards will have the Canucks in a turn around like the Sharks.

    Starting with centers of Hank/Kess/Santo/ Richardson, add a couple of wingers like Vanek or Staseny then talent starts to drop down to the 3rd and 4th lines. How about a 3rd line of Santo/Kassian and Jensen? A fourth line with Richardson Horvat and Higgins/Hanson?? Having two centers and a defensively responsible player like Horvat on a 4th line would be awesome…Sorry Sestito!

    Problem over the summer will be trades. The no trades will make moving players around tough. Adding Evander Kane would be great, but not one player with a no trade will wave it to go to the Peg….. The new GM will have to be creative and send certain players to desirable Eastern conference teams for quality in return. Getting a GM from Boston would help aid in that pursuit.

    All is not lost. Sorry trolls but the Canucks are not finished yet. A Sedin/Sedin/ Vanek too line with a Kess/Burr/ Ryan Callahan or Stasny would add toughness and scoring with some young energy 3rd and 4th lines.

    • jung gun

      “All is not lost. Sorry trolls but the Canucks are not finished yet. A Sedin/Sedin/ Vanek too line with a Kess/Burr/ Ryan Callahan or Stasny would add toughness and scoring with some young energy 3rd and 4th lines.”

      Ladies and gentlemen, after 14 years (Sedins)of hindsight…he comes up with that conclusion.

      When a mudslide has hit your village…just talk about who paints what fence tomorrow.

    • I really disagree when you say this collapse would’ve happened in 2-3 years anyway with a different coach etc. Torts did not destroy the season. It’s pretty obvious this team was steadily declining but Gillis did nothing to stop the downward spiral.

      We have 1 win in the last two playoff seasons and didn’t make the playoffs this year. Think about it. Let it sink in. Canucks cannot compete against the better teams. We were eliminated by the Kings then the Sharks in those 2 playoff seasons.

      Now we’re in a new division that features these tough Cali teams. I am not surprised we missed the playoffs and expected it. I think the results would’ve been similar if we were in this division two years ago. Hard to believe how so many can’t figure this out.

      Anyway, it is time to change the core. We need to deal Kes while his value is still high. We need to get rid of most of the core because I also feel the team is very stale. I’d love to see Edler moved but his value is low so keep him.

      Booth has been fine so keep him too. No, he isn’t worth his salary but no point in buying him out.

      I’m hoping the new GM comes in and deals Kes, Higgins, Hansen and maybe Edler. It all depends on the return. I would also see what we can get for a Tanev and package Schroeder in a deal that gets us a good return.

      I think the Canucks are a mess and only significant moves will make a significant difference. I don’t know how people can say a fine tuning will make everything OK…

      • I couldn’t disagree more with your assessment. The sharks loss last year was embarrassing, but the 2012 first round loss the Canucks were short handed after Danny was assaulted by Kieth…. And if you recall the Kings and Quick were a buzz saw in the playoffs. The Canucks gave them the biggest struggle of any series.

        As far as Torts goes I put a huge amount of blame on him. A coaches first job is to put his players in a position to be successful. Is there any player that excelled in Torts slow down defensive system? Who cares if the Sedins take 75% of face offs in the offensive zone… That’s what they do! Offense. Torts calling card was developing young players and DMen?? Did I miss that? The corps , which top to bottom is a pretty talented group individually, played miserably. They were a soft team…. Then got in fights after the Calgary game, then soft again. I was at the Kings Canucks game when they threw down…. That is not their game. They looked like a fish out of water.

        Check out an article Botchford wrote in which an eastern conference scout said the Canucks played “slow” . They were thinking about what to do instead of playing the game. How many indecisive out let passes were made because they were thinking too much. No need to look farther than the Kings of 2012 to see how a new coach can be a positive for a veteran club.

        With Corrado coming in there is room for a Dman trade, but who will it be? Tanev is the only one without a no movement clause. Youthful forwards, key FA additions and trades will bring a new energy to the Canucks! Again the Kings and Sharks remade themselves with a few key additions and subtractions with out gutting the core. Also with the Olympics in the rear view mirror…. Quite a few countries thought the Canucks talent was good enough to represent their countries in the worlds biggest tournament…. So maybe all those hockey people are wrong and you Ted are right.

        • Yeah, you aren’t really getting it based on your final thought: ” Quite a few countries thought the Canucks talent was good enough to represent their countries in the worlds biggest tournament…. So maybe all those hockey people are wrong and you Ted are right.”

          Here you’re showing that you’re not really thinking about it. We have lots of talent right now but that talent will be past its prime in a couple years. We don’t have much in the system that can take its place. Horvat? Might be a very good #2 centre. Hunter? Might be a top 6 forward. Gaunce? Might be a #2/#3 centre. Jensen? Maybe top 6 wing. We have no young stars at the NHL level. It is more than established we can’t compete in our division (2 wins against the sub belt teams out of 16 attempts or something like that). So, yeah, I think we’ll definitely agree to disagree.

          Also, try comparing apples to apples. Having your players go to the Olympics means you have some nice pieces. It doesn’t speak to the overall NHL team and the future compete level of said NHL team.

        • andyg

          I agree that with a coaching change we could be back into the playoffs next year. Torts is notorious for running 3 main lines. The west has the biggest and toughest teems in the league,we have the worst travel and last year was compressed. If you add all these together it is why we died by game 50. ( at least with AV we would make it close to the end of the year)

          I would like to see some minor changes made to core.( maybe Kes) See what we can find in UFA market. Resign Santorelli.

          Then slowly add 1 or 2 young players per year as they earn a spot. Players with NTC contracts could be traded away in the last year of their term as the youth take over.

          I hope they move the farm team to the lower main land. This would make it easier to share training staff,goalie coaches and allow fans to get an up close view of what is coming.

          This is just my thoughts!

          “Perleni or Ehlers”

      • giveittocheech

        I think you are forgetting about the NTCs that were given out in contracts quite freely IMO… Not sure if this is correct, but I heard rumours of Edler going to Boston were shot down as Edler denied to waive his NTC to remain a canuck.

        Hard to deal everyone to teams that really need a certain type of player as they are usually a struggling team. (i.e. Kesler to Blue Jackets rumour//thwarted because he didn’t want to waive the NTC).

        • giveittocheech

          How can anyone forgot the NTC?! That idiot Gillis handed them out like candy. As we can all see, those are working out great for this team. Such stupidity.

          I strongly suspect Kes did waive and I also believe Edler might OK a trade. Some of the realists will realize this team cannot compete and will want to go. I doubt the Sedins, Bieksa, Hammy or Burr ever leave (I don’t think any team would trade for Burr anyway – his contract is horrid and it seems like it was a thanks for previous performance and lesser $ demands).

          This team will not be competitive for a while and it may take another 17 years before we go to the Finals.

          • giveittocheech

            The early bird gets the worm. The Canucks and their fans should have thought of that 44 years ago…even 10. Rome was not built in a day and the Canucks are realizing this now?

            Vancouver never wants to get rid of problem players. Like the Linden era, they wanted fans to think microwave meat was prime rib. The Canucks have always been trying to pass ding ding food to their fans since they got into the lead.

            The sooner they realize that mules don’t win you horse races, the better they will do.

  • jung gun

    “The plural of “anecdote” isn’t “data”…” is brilliant. Never heard it before, thus I’m crediting you with it when I repeat it over and over again.

    • Gillis was a big problem because he wouldn’t keep things quiet.many GMs did not like dealing with him.

      Also the disaster that was the goalie controversy was all on his head. He could have dealt Schnieder when he was a hot commodity, but waited until everyone and their mother knew the Canucks were in desperate mode, and only got a pick. As a GM you have to watch trends….. Like the Post lock out NHL not calling interference as much which allowed Bostin and Kings to play physical hockey. Gillis always reacted instead of acting. Trev will do a good job of getting a guy that knows player developement.

  • Buying out Garrison seems foolish as well – he had a rough year just like Booth did, apparently had some injury trouble we didn’t know about, but was still okay. Not a $4.5 million season, but that happens.

    If the Canucks decide they need to get rid of him, it seems much more likely they could find a taker in the trade market than they could with Booth. They’d be selling low, but that’s better than a buyout. A lot of NHL teams could use another steady defender with a cannon shot.



    The Canadiens lead the Lightning 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs.

    To my meddling mother and all Canadian hockey fans… YOU’RE WELCOME.

    Yours truly and sincerely, G.B.B.

    P.S. Don’t say I never do anything for you Canadians.

  • andyg

    Is there anyone on the Canucks team that doesn’t have a NTC? lol

    The first thing Trevlor country club Linden has to do next year is to try and get rid of some of the country clubbers on the team.

    Now, is that some sort of irony or what? lol

  • andyg

    Well the interesting news is that Seabrook laid out Backes like an old straw mat if there are any backes haters out their. Cheap shot artists like Backes and Pronger will always get their due. Luci and Marchand will be next. Long memories always go along with retribution.

    I miss Ulf Samuelsson, he was the reason why cheapshot Neely went into retirement. Those were the days.

  • andyg

    It seems a little disingenuous to suggest Garrison be bought out over Booth, because Booth’s had a few rough years.

    Garrison had a rough year too, and was apparently injured. But who cares, it fits the Booth narrative you guys have concocted better. Dump Garrison for the reasons you say they should keep Booth!

    I honestly don’t see a great buyout candidate on the team. I’d rather they stood pat.

  • giveittocheech

    The playoffs have been a snore fest. Same old teams play the same old way with the same sh$T officiating. God only knows why Canadians keep tuning into this stuff.

    The only value of entertainment is watching the crybaby Bruins eventually choke. They can’t rely on meeting the biggest chokers out there, the Canucks for another good chance at the cup.

    The only thing that would make the playoffs entertaining is for someone to lay out the rat, Charag and the biggest crybaby of all time, Milan Lucy.

  • giveittocheech

    All hail King David of Corsi, song of Fenwick.


    The Canucks blogosphere won’t stop dreaming of a day when David Booth finds that magical centre who will make him a 30 goal scorer again. I wish, I wish, I wish.

    He’s a 3rd liner paid like a second-liner, who happens to say goofy things. He makes great copy, not great hockey.

  • giveittocheech

    I disagree with dumping either Garrison or Booth. Booth’s cap hit is reasonable, if he is playing on the second line. Now that he is healthy, I would pencil him in with Kassian on Kesler’s wings. Kesler & Booth have a history of being an excellent tandem, and playmaking power-forward Kassian would be an excellent winger for a shoot-first centre like Kesler.

    As to Garrison, buying him out will net the Canucks at most $2.5 million, as he has over $3 mill in guaranteed bonuses. I’d rather the Canucks use one or both of their compliance buyouts as bargaining chips, especially with cash-poor teams or teams (like Toronto) who have already used up their compliance buyouts.

  • Speaking of watchability the playoffs have been a dog of a show. In fact, it’s been that way for some time now. The players can’t take a hit, can’t receive a hit without wanting to fight someone, don’t know how to take a hit.

    The refs are terrible. They’re lousy, blind, jump in when two guys want to fight, stay away when cheap shots are doled out. They have no accountability and they ref worse than scab refs.Their only job is to manage the game according to what Bettman and the league’s owners want, or what the grand “scheme” calls for. Not to mention that the refs are also petty, arrogant and a joke.

    There rules are contradictory, confusing and because of the initiating rule there are more rats like Marchand in the league than ever before.

    The suspensions are inconsistent and at times laughable, with major conflict of interest problems. Enter Sock puppet Shanny is now working for the Leafs. This league has turned from a once fun exciting game to watch to a bush league full of corruption and incompetence. Ad worst of all…it’s boring.