There have been rumblings about trades early in the season, but getting a big one so soon is a fun surprise although the trade partners are very familiar with each other.
Vancouver acquired power forward David Booth, centerman Steve Reinprecht, and a 2013 third round pick from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm. Booth and Reinprecht are the 10th and 11th ex-Panthers acquired by the Canucks since Mike Gillis took over as GM of the team.
Booth was one of the Panthers young cornerstones that GM Dale Tallon refused to part with at the deadline last season hoping that he and Stephen Weiss would be the young guys needed to help turn the Panthers around. As it turns out, Tallon got to wait around for a deal that sends two veteran forwards to them instead.
At 26 years-old, Booth helps the Canucks get the forceful and younger second line power forward to team up with Ryan Kesler and give them a legitimate goal scoring threat. Booth had his career put on hold after a wicked head shot from Mike Richards back in October of 2009. So far this season, Booth has one assist and is a -6 for the Panthers. Those numbers should turn around fast in Vancouver.
Florida giving up on Booth is puzzling. Either Tallon knows something the Canucks don’t or he’s cashing out on Booth to get veterans whom he knows what he’ll get out of them. The other side of that, however, is that Sturm has looked like he’s on the wrong side of his career for the past two seasons and Samuelsson is about as streaky and moody of a player as it gets.
This deal seems like a steal for Vancouver. Taking on Reinprecht is just a formality as Reinprecht had been put on waivers by the Panthers before and is already headed to Vancouver’s AHL affiliate.
With Samuelsson and Sturm about this close to being done as productive wingers, the focus is on Booth to see what he brings (or doesn’t) to Vancouver. If Booth regains his old goal-scoring form, this is a runaway steal for the Canucks.