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.