If you’re a Canucks fan, you’ve probably heard about the trade Mike Gillis pulled off today with Vancouver’s favourite trading partner, the Florida Panthers. Here’s a breakdown of the trade, and my thoughts on it. (If you aren’t a hockey fan, feel free to ignore this post! You won’t hurt my feelings.)
2013 third-round draft pick
The question that always gets asked after a trade is, “Which team won?” In this deal, I think both teams have reason to feel that they’ve gotten what they wanted and paid a fair price for it. If I had to give an edge to one team, I’d say the Canucks are the slight winners, but that will depend on how David Booth plays over the next year or three.
Read on for more details of what each team gets out of the trade.
What the Canucks Wanted
From my perspective, the Vancouver Canucks made this trade because they felt they needed to improve the offensive 5-on-5 play of their second line. For the last few years, the second line has had flashes of offensive punch, but has also gone through some long unproductive stretches. Mason Raymond and Mikael Samuelsson, the two wingers that Ryan Kesler spent the most time playing with, are both pretty streaky scorers. The truth is that the Canucks’ amazing powerplay has really masked the second line’s inconsistencies. Kesler may have put up 41 goals in 2010/11, but a lot of those came on the first-unit PP. The hope is that David Booth will be an upgrade on Samuelsson and will turn the second line into a more consistent scoring threat, allowing the Canucks to not have to rely quite so much on the Sedins and the powerplay.
The third-round draft pick is basically compensation for taking on Reinprecht’s $2-million salary, which the Canucks will bury in the minors. More draft picks never hurt, especially considering that this is a pick that the Canucks originally traded to the Panthers (as part of the Higgins deal last year, I believe).
In my opinion, the Canucks will win this deal if Booth scores 55 points and allows Kesler to score 30 goals and 70 points again.
What the Panthers Wanted
Florida has been hoping to see David Booth turn into a legitimate big-time scoring threat for a few years, and now that Dale Tallon is in charge they’ve apparently decided that they’ve waited long enough. Tallon naturally wants to put his own stamp on the team, and he went a long way in that direction this summer. By dealing Booth, who has three years left on his contract, for two players who are free agents at the end of this year, he gives himself more flexibility to continue along that path in the summer of 2012. When July 1 rolls around, Tallon will have $4.75 million free from those two players to spend on whomever is available.
In addition, the Panthers no longer have to pay Reinprecht’s $2-million salary for a minor-league player. While the Canucks aren’t much bothered either way by a couple million dollars, the Panthers are a much smaller market with a lower budget, and they’ll be glad to have that money back.
The way I see it, the Panthers have already gotten what they wanted out of this deal. They have a couple of decent players for this season and more long-term freedom and flexibility for Dale Tallon to remake his roster.