In 62 games played last season, David Booth had 16 goals and 14 assists for 30 points (which pro-rates to a 21 goal, 19 assist, 40 point season). Hardly ‘set the world on fire’ kind of numbers, but how did he stack up against other forwards in the league?
597 forwards played in the NHL last season. David Booth’s 30 points ranked him 187 in the league, which puts him in the top 1/3. Booth’s 16 goals put him at ranked 146 in the league, which is in the top ¼ of forwards.
Keeping in mind that David Booth was injured and missed ¼ of a season, how would he have ranked had he played all 82 games? He would have been in the top 15th percentile of goal scorers, and the top 25th percentile for points. These would be top line NHL numbers.
As it stands, even with the injury, Booth put up a respectable goal total when compared with his peers. As demonstrated, he scored more than ¾ of the league.
Now, is David Booth overpaid at a cap hit of $4.25M? It’s a tough thing to argue either way. What is a point worth in today’s NHL? What about a goal? Some goals are more valuable than others. There are so many intangibles like size, speed, toughness, intelligence, leadership, attitude, fit and acquisition cost that come into play. It’s very tough to put values on players.
The way I look at this particular player is this. Booth brings an element to our team that we didn’t have enough of before, and we acquired him for very little cost. Yes, he is a narrowly focussed player, and not at all a utility guy like Burrows or Hansen. He does bring elements of speed, size and going hard to the net that others on the Canucks don’t.
I think if you compared Booth on an ‘all other things being equal basis’ you would find that he is overpaid by $500-750k compared with similar players throughout the league; however, all things are never equal. He was awarded his current contract based upon a 30 goal, 60 point season, and has not repeated those numbers due to whatever reasons be they injuries, fit, etc.
I think after this season GMMG will need to evaluate a lot of players, Booth included. If GMMG has a better option than Booth as a second line winger, then he should go ahead and make the change. Until then, Booth is a quality NHL forward who scores goals at a top 6 rate. I don’t think you just dump anybody because they are ‘overpaid’ until you have a better option to fill in that role.