Oct 222011
 

If you were one of those Canucks fans that wanted to be unique and get a Marco Sturm jersey, you might want to tell the Canucks Team Store to cancel your order.

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis apparently does care about what other people say about his team, and the critics’ longstanding issues about Vancouver’s lack of a second-line winger can now be silenced, at least for now.

The team announced shortly after their win against the Minnesota Wild that they had made a four-player trade with the Florida Panthers, sending the oft-injured Mikael Samuelsson and the ineffective Marco Sturm to the ‘Cats for winger David Booth, Steven Reinprecht, and a 3rd round pick in 2013.

So what does all this mean?

Well for starters, a moment of silence for Mikael Samuelsson, who provided Canucks media with some of the worst best audio clips in team history:

Yeah, I don’t know what happened there either. The guy’s got 11 NHL seasons under his belt and he’s talking like he’s got a Swedish meatball lodged in the back of his throat.

But in all seriousness, Samuelsson’s tenure in Vancouver was far from terrible. He provided some thrilling moments (most of which came in the Canucks’ first round battle with Los Angeles in 2010) and added some leadership in the team dressing room (which, you could argue, he passed on to the Sedin twins). Samuelsson put up 50+ points in his two years with Vancouver, and given the expectations of him when the team signed him in the summer of 2009, that’s pretty much what we hoped for.

Marco Sturm, on the other hand, was about as useless as useless could get. Slow and unable to acclimate himself into Alain Vigneault’s system, he was a circle peg trying to fit into a square hole. He showed zero chemistry with players from lines two to four and his previous injury woes showed. He will not be missed, and neither will the $2.5M price tag that was attached to him.

The centre piece of the deal is David Booth, who has as much upside as he does risk. A second-round draft pick from ’04, the height of Booth’s days in Florida were when he poured in 31 goals in 2008-09 while playing on a woefully bad team. Booth has also had seasons of 22 and 23 goals prior to and after the 31-goal campaign, so you know the potential is there.

On the other side of the coin, Booth was derailed by concussion problems in 2009 when he was blindsided by then-Flyer Mike Richards early in the year,  forcing him to miss 54 games with head problems. That’s a red flag in itself, as you could say rarely ever do players play the same after suffering major concussions, but Booth played a full season last year which should lead me to say his injury problems are a thing of the past.

Booth also played with Ryan Kesler when Team USA beat Canada in the 2004 World Juniors (Thanks again, Brayden Coburn’s ass and Marc-Andre Fleury’s brain). In 2003, Kesler also teamed up with current linemate Chris Higgins at the World Juniors, leading to early speculation all three will play on a line together soon.

Reinprecht, an aging veteran of 11 NHL seasons (that’s been said before already) is currently in Rochester playing for Florida’s AHL affiliate, so his days are likely done in the big league. That said, you can never have enough centre depth and Reinprecht will be a good mentor for some of the Canucks’ young blood in Chicago.

Myself and the rest of the CHB crew will have more analysis and discussion on the Canucks’ latest trade in tomorrow’s episode for CHB TV. Make sure you check back for more!

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