Gillis counters Booth’s agent, says injury history not an excuse


There seems to be a difference in opinion about Canucks forward David Booth.

The day after being made a healthy scratch in a 5-4 OT win over Islanders — a game in which Vancouver only dressed 11 forwards — Booth was a hot topic of conversation. His agent, Mike Liut, told Vancouver’s News1130 his client needs time to adjust after missing almost all of last season and this year’s training camp with an ankle injury.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis disagreed.

“I think if we thought that was still (an) available excuse than maybe a different tactic would’ve been used,” Gillis told TEAM 1040 radio on Wednesday afternoon. “We’re on an extended road trip, the longest trip I think that I’ve been on since being here.

“We need everybody playing and playing well and you know there are different ways to get that out of players and the coaches are determined to get it out of David and I think they will.”

While Liut told 1130 Booth’s ankle is still not 100 percent, he made it clear neither he nor his client had any issues with the healthy scratch. Booth had just one goal and three points in 10 games prior to being parked, and given his pricetag ($4.25 million annually) it’s clear much more is expected of him.

Just ask Gillis.

“He’s a very good player when he’s got energy and when he’s playing well,” Gillis explained. “We’ve been at this now for 10 games and it was time for him to step up.”

The Canucks next play on Thursday in New Jersey. Booth is expected to be back in the lineup, especially since fellow forward Jannik Hansen has been sent back to Vancouver to have his upper-body injury evaluated.