Vancouver Canucks Acquire David Booth

The Vancouver Canucks acquired left wing David Booth, center Steve Reinprecht and a third-round draft pick in 2013 from the Florida Panthers on Saturday for veteran forwards Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson.

This is an intriguing deal on a number of levels.

Booth, a 26-year-old left wing listed at 6’0 and 212 pounds, had 40 points (23 goals, 17 assists) and was minus-31 last year in 82 games for the Panthers. In 2009-10, Booth was limited to 28 games because of concussion issues. He missed 45 games after his first concussion of that season, and his career was in question after a second hit to the head.

Sturm, 33, signed a one-year deal before this season with the Canucks after bouncing between Washington and Los Angeles last year. He scored over 20 goals in eight of the previous 10 seasons.

Samuelsson, 34, had at least 50 points in each of the last two seasons in Vancouver, including 30 goals in 2009-10. In his postseason career, Samuelsson has 22 goals and 31 assists in 92 career playoff games. Samuelsson has a game-winning goal in each of the last five postseasons.

Clearly the Panthers gave up a talented younger forward for postseason experience and size in this deal. But there’s more to this deal than meets the eye.

Booth has three years left on his current contract, a deal that carries a $4.25M cap hit. Both Sturm and Samuelsson will be free agents after the 2011-12 season, and their combined cap number is $4.75M this year.

With Booth on their books, the Canucks now have approximately $55M locked up in 16 players already for the 2012-13 season. In 2013-14, the Canucks haveĀ 0ver $41.4M already committed to only 9 players.

On the other side of the equation, Florida now has only $40M committed to 15 players for the 2012-13 season, and under $30M locked up in only eight players for the 2013-14 campaign.

Just as he did in Chicago, Florida GM Dale Tallon is building his team with a specific mold in mind. Meanwhile, the Canucks continue locking up money on players with health concerns in their past.

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