David Booth is continuing to recover from surgery and it’s unlikely he’ll be cleared in time for buyout season, taking one option off of the Canucks “reset” tote board. He underwent surgery in March to repair his broken ankle, needing screws to re-attach his fibula and tibia and hold them in place. It’s made for a long rehab. Booth was cleared to put away his walking boot only within the past two weeks. For two months, the ankle was essentially immobilized, except for therapy. Buying out of Booth’s contract was one of the few “reset” opportunities the Canucks had this month. Any plans to change the team’s dynamic are limited because the Canucks are already over the salary cap. Getting out of the Booth deal was one of the ways the Canucks could have had freed up spending room for free agency. Without it as a backup, the pressure is on now to unload Roberto Luongo, Keith Ballard, or both. For a buyout, Booth needs to be healthy, because a player’s contract is protected against injury. He would have to be cleared to play during the window which opens 48 hours after the Stanley Cup final ends. It lasts until July 4, the eve of free agency. “It is my sense that David will not be cleared to play at that time,” said his agent, Mike Liut. In a way, this makes things easier for the Canucks. The team was loath to buy his contract out, even if he scored just one empty-net goal this year. He’s big, he’s fast, and on paper he’s exactly the type of player the Canucks critics keep saying they need more of. Replacing him in free agency threatened to be problematic. Sure, the New Jersey Devils David Clarkson would be great. But he could get $6 million a year if he even makes it to the open market. Ryane Clowe lacks Booth’s speed, and scored just three goals in 40 games. When he was traded at the deadline, he was asking for eight years, $34 million. Nathan Horton could easily be another $6 million-a-year guy with the postseason he’s having. He made a pro-rated $5.5 million salary this past season. He’s not going to be asked to take a pay cut. Hello, Jay Feaster. So when you start surveying the landscape, suddenly Booth doesn’t look so rotten.
Ankle injury means no buyout for Booth
Vancouver Province | Jun 6