Just days after their front office shake up, the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to make changes. The organization has successfully signed free agent forward David Booth to a one year deal worth approximately $1.1 million.
Booth is coming out of a very disappointing season with the Vancouver Canucks.
Booth accumulated 19 points in 66 games last season for the Canucks. Booth has never been a top line goal scorer, but 19 points is well below average even for a forward just rotating the lines in a team. He didn’t seem to fit in at all when John Tortorella came to Vancouver.
In fact, Booth was sent down to the minors at one point this past season on a conditioning assignment. However, that’s all in the past now and David Booth will be eager to prove his worth to his new team.
David Booth still has plenty of potential in my opinion. The 29 year old forward has size, speed and experience which could benefit the younger players on the team. He provides the Leafs with a little more depth in case injuries occur and could be useful on the penalty kill as well.
Plus at a price tag of $1.1 million, it doesn’t hurt Toronto financially at all. I’m confident that with the extra ice time, David Booth will accumulate well over 20 points this season.
The question now becomes, which line will head Coach Randy Carlyle place Booth on. I believe David Booth will be put on the third line which may include Mike Santorelli and David Clarkson. This is a wonderful opportunity for Booth to re-ignite his career and get back to the form he was in when he entered the NHL. I believe this signing will benefit both sides moving forward.
However, this won’t be an easy task for Booth by any means. The Toronto Maple Leafs is a team with very high expectations. After another disappointing season, the new leadership will be looking for every player on the roster to step up and contribute every game.
And like John Tortorella, Leaf's Coach Randy Carlyle will not hesitate to take drastic measures to get the best out of his players. Plus the fans can be quite merciless if things aren’t going well. I’d be very surprised if David Booth isn’t a little bit intimidated and nervous when he begins playing with Toronto this year.
I can’t wait to see how David Booth will tackle this next challenge and help his new team.