TORONTO – Almost a month into free agency, the Toronto Maple Leafs went bargain hunting Tuesday by signing left-winger David Booth to a US$1.1-million, one-year contract.
Booth was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks last month after a season in which he had nine goals and 10 assists in 66 games. The 29-year-old does have a history of scoring, though his only 30-goal season came in 2008-09.
The Leafs’ signing of Booth was their first roster move after hiring 28-year-old Kyle Dubas as assistant general manager. It wasn’t clear how much if any influence Dubas had on the move, but searching for value in depth spots appeared consistent with the philosophy president Brendan Shanahan, general manager Dave Nonis and Dubas are trying to implement.
Shanahan said Tuesday that the Leafs had created some competition for roster spots already this off-season. He didn’t want to go into how the coaching strategy would change next season but said what’s important remains the same.
“The object of the game is to win the game. You’ve got to score more goals to win the game,” Shanahan said. “What’s most important are winning and results.”
Booth figures to replace Mason Raymond, a bargain signing just before training camp last season, who left for a $9.45-million, three-year deal with the Calgary Flames.
Booth, a six-foot, 212-pound Detroit native, has registered 218 career points in 443 games with the Canucks and Florida Panthers. He was selected 53rd overall by Florida in the 2004 draft.
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