A Farewell to David Booth, the victim of the team’s 2nd compliance buyout


It was just yesterday morning, hours after the window for the last wave of compliance buyouts opened up, that we ran a post highlighting the 4 most conceivable ways in which the Vancouver Canucks would choose to utilize this asset that they had in their back pocket until June 30th. 

We didn’t have to wait long to find out the answer, as news broke this morning that David Booth – the candidate that led that aforementioned post as the most likely option – has been placed on unconditional waivers.

His turbulent time in Vancouver is officially up, so let’s say farewell.

Using a compliance buyout on Booth’s contract saves the club some money for next season, frees up an additional $4.25 million against the salary cap, and gives the Canucks an additional top-nine roster spot. That latter point is important, because though I think Booth could still be valuable in the right situation, a skill blackhole on the third-line isn’t exactly something that an impotent offensive team like the Canucks require.

The downside of buying out David Booth? This is the final time during the life of the current CBA (which will outlast cockroaches but not Roberto Luongo’s lifetime pact) that teams can use a compliance buyout. Freeing up $4.25 million in space for next season is cool and all, but Booth’s contract is essentially a no-risk proposition. Vancouver might even be able to move him at the deadline for a pick (if Booth has a good year and the club retains some salary).

Trevor Linden and Jim Benning have a variety of different ways they can approach this situation, and with what’ll likely be their first critical move on the job, we’ll assuredly learn a thing or two about how they view the team they’ve inherited and where it fits into the the NHL’s hierarchy.

The Aquilinis are on the hook for slightly over $1.5 million for each of the next two years, but for our purposes, the main point is that the team now has an additional $4.25 million of space to work with. How they allocate those newfound resources this summer will ultimately determine whether this particular move was a hasty, ill-advised one, or one that was just a small part of a larger vision.

While it’s a distinct possibility that the team viewed the PR headache that accompanied Booth as unjustifiable by the numbers and one that could be easily alleviated, this could also potentially provide some insight on the way in which they view themselves. If 2014-15 were going to be a season dedicated to “rebuilding”, it seems like it would’ve made more sense to bring Booth back for the final year on his deal and roll the dice on the odd chance that he reestablishes some semblance of trade value at the deadline for a contender. 

Which brings us to this summer, where there are some intriguing wingers set to hit the open market; ones which, most importantly, could help augment an offense that is in desperate need of refurbishing. With this, the money that will surely be freed up should the Ryan Kesler for picks/prospects eventually go through, and the rising cap, Jim Benning and the Canucks will have some flexibility to try some things and be flexible unlike last summer. 

With that, though, comes the price of having an extra hole to fill in the lineup. And while you’d imagine that $4.25 million would surely be able to buy you more than 26 goals in 134 games, we see time and time again that there’s no such thing as a sure thing. 

The move to acquire David Booth from the Florida Panthers back in 2012 will be looked back upon as a failure around these parts, but it’s hard to fault the thought process behind it. Just like it’s hard to fault the player; his time here was marred by fake outrage, and internet-created controversies over some of the off-ice personal decisions he made, which was only accentuated by the injuries which relegated to a 3rd line, serviceable depth role.

Amongst it all, David Booth managed to remain upbeat and positive, acting like a goofy guy that just wanted to have some fun. He should have no trouble accomplishing that next season when he’s scoring 20 goals in the Eastern Conference

  • I like Booth, but this’ll have to be judged based on who they replace him with. With the cap going up and the salaries players are demanding going up too, can the Canucks find a better two-way middle-six winger for $4.25 million?

    • Barnabas

      Please! That reflects badly on you. Everyone has there beliefs; just because they are different than doesn’t mean we can disrespect others.

      Speaking of reflecting, I might be a good idea to reflect on yours. If not you are a fool. I hope that is not the case.

      I hate intolerance of people free thought. It is so annoying.

  • Crappy dinner.

    I liked Boother, he brings it in the playoffs.

    I agree they should have bought him out, but this is a contract year for him, I bet he has a good season.

    But in the end, the brass knows best I suppose.

    Later Booth, I hope wherever you go, has decent hunting, and better fans for you.

    I am going to laugh when he scores 20 this season haha.

  • Those Fla trades were probably the real nail in Gillis’s coffin. Let that be a lesson to any GMs out there….. Good players on bad teams usually end up being average or below average on good teams.

    I didn’t care if people thought Booth was weird, I only cared that he was unproductive.

  • I guess we aren’t rebuilding then. Hopefully they can get some good players with the extra cap space otherwise this was a bad move…unless FAjust wanted to save a million plus bucks…

    • Barnabas

      It is time to give some of the kids a chance – we need to have a better mix of younger players in our lineup so they can learn from the aging core – Chicago has done an excellent job (Saad, Shaw, Leddy, …) as have LA and San Jose. We need our youth to step up. And the money saved can be used to pay some of the Mike’s (G. and S. ) and John T.’s pay. I suspect he will be picked up on waivers by a team that may need to hit the cap floor or perhaps does not want to risk losing this asset if he becomes an UFA.

  • Barnabas

    Stupid decision. There was no point in buying him out. Who do they think they’re going to put on the 3rd line that’s better than Booth?

    I’m moderately disappointed with this. Oh well, let’s see what else happens.

    • Barnabas

      I’d rather have any of the young players get a year of experience playing the third line than Possession Champ. That is about the only reason I think a buyout makes sense — I don’t see a ton of great UFAs out there we can replace him with and if we’re in rebuild better not have him sucking up a spot.

  • Barnabas

    For the record…
    Booth did perform (goal scoring wise) up to his contract since 2011.(The cavet being his injuries)..
    Booth is in the 45Th percentile in ES scoring/ 60 minutes since 2011.

    His rate IS higher than Dustin Brown and Justin Williams at 132/287

    His failure here has been greatly exaggerated due to
    1. Very high expectations
    2. His weird personality
    3. The fact that most media and fans have no clue what an average 2nd line player scores at.

    Of course his injuries/ inability or lack of power play time/production and his lack of play making are weaknesses.

    BUT 2nd line players only average ~16 ES goals a season.

    He could score 20 (a la Raymond) in the east next year.

  • Barnabas


    I didn’t think of integrating youth and from that perspective it’s not a bad move. We haven’t had the roster spots for young players (not that we really had many prospects) and this enables some of our prospects a chance to crack the lineup.

    It’s not a bad move in terms of degrading our roster nor is it a great move. It saves ownership some money and gives management flexibility with the added cap room and roster spot. I would have bought him out were I GMJB/Trev.

    Nonetheless, I foresee him signing a value contract this season and surpassing his admittedly low expectations.

    Despite the internet hate I was fond of Booth and always thought the trade was fair and reasonable. I’m not a hunter nor a religionist but he seems like a nice person and a fairly talented athlete (just too high a cap hit).

    • Barnabas

      Why would you pick him up on waivers and be on the hook for a $4.5 million contract when you can just wait for him to get bought out and sign him for $1.5 million or so in a few weeks’ time? Another team is definitely going to take a flyer on him, much as Ballard got with Minnesota. That doesn’t mean that Booth is particularly good, just that I don’t think anyone saw Booth through rose-colored glasses. He’s not as bad as he gets trashed for and he’s not as good as his current contract.