I hate watching the Canucks lost to a team like Columbus. Unfortunately, the Canucks were playing without two of the top six defensemen, a 2nd line centre, and a 3rd line centre. If you take the same type of players off Pittsburgh, Detroit or Chicago, I am not sure how many games they could win even against teams like Columbus or Calgary.
However, I agree this team really badly needs a 3rd line centre to replace Lapierre/Raymond/Schroeder. Lapierre has shown that he could be a temporary 3rd line centre but not a permanent one. Raymond just could not win a faceoff. Schroeder is not doing much offensively, especailly when he is playing with Weise and Sestito.
Two seasons ago, people complained about the Canucks having too much skilled but soft players. Now, they have two power forwards, Kassian and Booth, who carry the pucks to the net with authority. Kassian is young and Booth just came back from injury a few games ago. In the last few games, they created numerous chances. With a little luck or a more skillful centre, they could have potted a few goals.
Raymond has been good this year but he is still too soft. Higgins is rugged but not as talented as Raymond. Both players will be UFAs this summer. Assuming Booth stays, MG can only afford to keep one of Higgins and Raymond for the third line left winger. Perhaps it is time to sell high and get a 3rd line centre in return.
Either Higgins or Raymond is a better option than Booth, and way cheaper.
Keep 'em both and say goodbye to Booth
Unless MG can unload Booth then he's a buyout.