The Vancouver Canucks have assigned winger David Booth to the Utica Comets of the AHL for a conditioning assignment.
Prior to being sent down, Booth practiced with the team and had declared himself close to returning. He said playing during the team’s four-game road trip was a possibility.
Sending a veteran down to the minors for a conditioning stint is not unheard of, but sending somebody down after missing four games with an injury is.
Booth will be able to spend up to 14 days in the minors with the Comets and the Canucks needed his permission to do so. Either Booth saw it as beneficial or the Canucks convinced him to go. He will continue to be on the Canucks active roster.
13.8 Conditioning Loan. Unless a Player consents, he shall not be Loaned on a Conditioning Loan to a minor league club. Such Conditioning Loan shall not extend for more than fourteen (14) consecutive days. The Commissioner may take whatever steps he deems necessary to investigate the circumstances under which a Player is Loaned on a Conditioning Loan. If the Commissioner has reason to believe or determines that the Club has used the Conditioning Loan to evade Waivers, or otherwise Circumvent any provision of this Agreement, he may take such disciplinary action against the Club, as he deems appropriate. The Player shall continue, during the period of such Conditioning Loan, to receive the same Paragraph 1 NHL Salary, and be entitled to the same benefits, that he would have received had he continued to play with the Club.
The Comets play four games between November 5 and 10 against the Toronto Marlies, Lake Erie Monsters twice, and the Hamilton Bulldogs. The next batch of games are November 15 and 16 against the Rochester Americans and Texas Stars at home.
The date that Booth has to be recalled by is November 18. Expect the Canucks to do that after November 10 since there’s a four day break between games.
It doesn’t make much sense having Booth practicing with the Comets for four days just to play two more games when he can practice with the Canucks and get back into the lineup.
The purpose of sending Booth down to the AHL is clear: it is so he can get his confidence back.
He is without a doubt a better option than Tom Sestito, Jeremy Welsh, Darren Archibald, Zac Dalpe, and Yannick Weber in the lineup, but the Canucks have been playing well the last few weeks. Right now is the best time to send Booth down.
Hopefully he will be able to score some goals. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Booth doesn’t dominate. He is far too good of a player for the AHL.
He’ll get his confidence back and Booth will give the Comets a much needed boost so they can get their first ever win in franchise history. They are currently the only winless team in the AHL.