Booth cleared to return to Canucks practice

Wednesday, 09.18.2013 / 4:50 PM | Kevin Woodley  - NHL.com Correspondent

Vancouver Canucks wing David Booth was cleared to practice Wednesday in an attempt to return from an injury-shortened 2012-13 season.

The Vancouver Sun reported Booth skated with the non-playing group Wednesday morning in advance of a preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers.

"It was quite the feeling," Booth said, according to the newspaper. "I mean, it's been a while since I skated with them."

Booth skated with teammates during informal practices the week before training camp opened, but coach John Tortorella said the forward wasn't medically cleared when camp started Sept. 11.

"I think my goal all along was to be ready for the regular season," Booth said.

Booth pulled his groin during on-ice fitness testing and missed the start of last season. He scored one empty-net goal in 12 games before spraining his ankle in an awkward fall March 16, an injury that required surgery six days later.

Acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers early in the 2011-12 season, the 28-year-old Michigan native has scored 17 goals in 78 games over parts of two seasons.

"He killed us in Florida when I was in Tampa [Bay]," Tortorella told the Vancouver Province. "He can be an asset in how we want to play on the puck. He could be a really good player, but the question is health, and it’s out of my control. If he can stay healthy, it slots people in different spots. We get a good player like that in lineup and it really helps us."

A powerful wing who isn't afraid to take the puck to the net, Booth should be able to provide some of the bite and grit Tortorella is asking for, but with another two seasons left on a contract with a $4.25 million salary cap charge, Booth has been mentioned just as often as a possible buyout candidate in Vancouver.

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