NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 24: David Booth #7 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Canucks defeated the Devils 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Struggling Booth considers hiring skating coach


There was a time when David Booth was a rising star in the NHL, but now he’s 29 years old and the owner of an albatross six-year, $25 million contract.

The Vancouver Canucks have only put him in 14 games this season and head coach John Tortorella doesn’t use him that much even when he’s in the lineup. It has gotten to the point where Canucks GM Mike Gillis bluntly said that Booth needs to “play harder.”

As far as Booth is concerned though, a big part of his problem is that he has been slowed by lower-body injuries. To that end, he is interested in hiring a non-Canucks coach to help him with his skating.

“I’ve worked with (a skating coach) in Michigan, but I couldn’t do it (last summer, because of injury rehab),” Booth told the Vancouver Province. “I think I learn well. I haven’t worked with anyone (locally) yet, we’re still trying to figure that out.”

This isn’t the first time Booth has pointed to his skating as an issue, but Gillis suggested that there are no easy answers to this problem. He added that Booth has had “a lot of philosophical meetings” with his coaches.

For his part, Tortorella sees Booth as a project and thinks the Canucks forward needs to regain his confidence.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.