One of the things that’s impressed me about Canucks GM Mike Gillis is his ability to be patient when he needs to be, and urgent when he wants to be. At the time you expect him to make the biggest moves he stands pat. Then he surprises everyone by trading Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson for David Booth, Steven Reinprecht and the 3rd round pick that he traded to acquire Chris Higgins.
With the arrival of Booth comes a flood of potential. High risk, high reward. That’s what you get with him. There’s no doubt a new environment will hopefully spark the American-born player back to his 30-goal season ways, but that’s what we said of Sturm when he was signed in July and now we see him on the other side of the trade probably breaking out his speedo for the beaches in Miami.
So what makes Booth’s situation different?
Gillis has proven that he operates his team with a revolving door. There are no guaranteed spots here. You earn your playing time. To creating a winning team, Gillis has created a winning culture. It’s not just his winning culture, but it’s a culture that the team has bought into. The players want to be a part of this system and they fight for their ice-time. Case in point, with their depth, we’ve seen guys like Samuelsson drift from the first line to the fourth line depending on how switched on he is.
Booth comes not only into a new environment, but a new culture. A culture of competitiveness both internally and externally, a culture of youth and excellence, and a culture of winning. This isn’t Florida, and the moment he steps out onto the ice in Rogers Arena he’s going to realize just how different things are when he has 18,810 fans roaring behind him and another million or so with TEAM 1040 on speed dial. You’re a long way from home, Dorothy. Time to see what you’ve been missing out.