The Vancouver Canucks left for Phoenix today and the start of a daunting four-game road trip, but winger David Booth was headed in a different direction, which seems consistent with his time as a Canuck.

The injury-prone forward was dispatched to the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets on a conditioning assignment. Booth, 28, hasn't played since Oct. 24 in New Jersey when he left the game after the first period. A conditioning stint can last a maximum of two weeks.

The Comets have a home game Tuesday against the Toronto Marlies and then road games Thursday and Friday against the Lake Erie Monsters.

The Canucks, meanwhile, will meet the Coyotes on Tuesday (6 p.m., Sportsnet Pacific, Team 1040), followed by a Thursday date in San Jose and then weekend outings in Los Angeles on Saturday and Anaheim on Sunday.

Booth's latest problem is believed to a groin-related, which he so much as admitted before backtracking and saying it was “lower body.” Last season, he suffered a major groin injury on the first day of testing following the lockout and then shattered his ankle March 16 against Detroit. The ankle required surgery and Booth was lost for the season.

He also missed a portion of this year's training camp and most of the pre-season. He played the first 10 games of the regular season, was a healthy scratch Oct. 22 in Long Island — or maybe it was unhealthy as it turns out — and then lasted just the one period two days later against the Devils. He has one goal in 11 games.

“I was just making a couple of strides and I couldn't stride properly,” Booth replied when asked what happened in New Jersey. “I just want to be able to skate at 100 per cent. With my game, I need to be able to skate 100 per cent and feel 100 per cent and I wasn't able to do so. I didn't want to make things worse.