David Booth insists he's not suffering from the buyout blues and remains confident his National Hockey League career will continue next season, either here with the Vancouver Canucks or somewhere else.

A month ago, the suggestion that Booth could in fact be back with the Canucks next season would have been met with laughter. And while it is still probably in the long-shot category, Booth is at least giving the Canucks pause for thought.

The much-maligned 29-year-old winger is suddenly playing his best hockey as a Canuck and has combined with Brad Richardson and Zack Kassian to form Vancouver's most effective line of late. Booth has three goals and four points in his past four games and is demonstrating the kind of speed and offensive touch that was expected when the Canucks acquired him from the Florida Panthers early in the 2011-12 season.

So why now? A cynic could suggest Booth realizes that he is playing for his professional hockey life. But Booth has another possible explanation.

Booth noted Monday that when he had ankle surgery late last season the doctor warned him that it would take a full year before he completely recovered. Well, guess what? It’s been almost exactly a full year.

"It's funny because when I had surgery on the ankle, the doctor said it was going to be a year, a full year before you start feeling good," Booth said. "I was like, yeah, whatever, I'll be back in half that time … looking back on it, I think it was about a year ago, it was March 21 or something. It seems like, wow, that's funny because that's when I started playing better. I don't know, maybe it's a coincidence."

Booth now feels like he has his speed back and is able to find that extra gear that allows him to blow by defenders. We've seen a couple examples of that in the past week.