Leafs Sign David Booth

A new assistant GM in the morning, and a new player in the afternoon. The day hasn’t stopped for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have inked David Booth to a 1 year, 1.1 million dollar deal. 

Booth is coming off of a rough year with the Vancouver Canucks. In 66 games, he put up 9 goals and 10 assists, the lowest he’s put up in mostly-played season in his career to date. In fact, his entire tenure with the Canucks was plagued with issues, seeing him score just 58 points in 114 games despite a cap hit of $4.25 million.

Injuries play a big factor in this. Within weeks of the trade that sent him over from Florida, Booth suffered a right knee sprain that took him out the lineup for 18 games. Since then, he’s also injured his groin and left ankle, along with suffering a “lower body injury” this season. 

To his credit, Booth has seen a decline in his minutes played since heading to Vancouver, particularly in the power play, where he’s practically been unused in the past couple of season. As well, he’s been a positive relative possession player in each of the past four seasons and playoffs (when applicable), even when used in defensive situations.

Booth’s reputation in his peak was one of a power forward, who could both produce points and be physical. It appears that injuries have hampered his ability to do the former, but if he can help drive the play forward while giving the latter, he could still have life in him as a bottom six forward (likely as the left winger on Line 3). $1.1 million dollars for a good to very good grinder who could end up scoring again if he recovers from injures sounds like a fantastic low risk, high reward scenario for the Blue and White.

Besides, the last player that the Canucks walked away from and the Leafs took a ~$1 million chance on was Mason Raymond. As we saw, that turned out pretty decently. 

  • SteinS

    Santorelli and Booth as Raymond v.2 and v.3? I can dig it. Quite a bit of low-end forward depth now that gives us lots of options for that 2nd line winger (not to mention the entire bottom 6)

  • Booth was terribly underrated by Vancouver fans and media – he probably won’t ever put up 30 goals in a season again, but he’s a good middle-six forward with great defensive sense and good speed. Part of the reason he got chased out of Vancouver was his 4+ million contract – if he’d been paid $2 -$3 million (and been healthy) he probably would have been a fan favourite.

    This is a really good signing by Toronto.

    • SteinS

      I don’t think Booth was that overrated over here, he just wasn’t putting up numbers to match his salary. And he was injured fairly often. And he was misused a lot of the time. At 4.25 mil per, his stats were just unacceptable. At 1 mil per, he’s a pretty big steal, with the potential to be an incredible steal.

      So at the very least, I doubt Leaf fans will regret this pickup. Unlike us with Ryan Miller.

      Sigh.

  • an interesting comment from the star

    “Raymond has moved on to the Calgary Flames, in part creating the opening Booth could fill. A left winger, Booth could move onto the second line with Nazem Kadri, allowing Joffrey Lupul to return to right wing, where he played most of his career before joining the Leafs”.

  • SteinS

    Last year the was lots of debate about trading Mason Raymond. His 16 goals and 19 assists at the 60 game mark could have made him one of the hottest buys on deadline day. I was thinking we could have gotten at least a 2nd round draft choice for Mason Raymond

    But we didn’t trade him and he went to Calgary for nothing.

    With all the depth on the Marlies and these veterans on short term contracts…I think there will be some deadline deals this year.

    It all depends on the Marlies. We don’t want to rush them, but if Leivo or McKegg,Carrick, Abbott Nylander or somebody else has a breakout year then we will have the option to trade guys like Bodie, Booth or Santorelli at the trade deadline.

    Trading veterans on expiring contracts for prospects and draft picks is good asset management. If it’s a guy like Booth who was a UFA its even better, because we will have given up nothing to get him, we used him in the couorse of the year, and maybe we get a 2nd or third round pick at the deadline.