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.