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Will anyone give David Booth a shot?

Jul 14, 2014, 1:09 PM EDT

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 24: David Booth #7 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Canucks defeated the Devils 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Getty Images

I was in Seattle this weekend to watch some baseball games. The Mariners were hosting the best team in the majors, the Oakland Moneyballin’ Athletics, who went into the All-Star break with a 59-36 record, despite having one of the lowest payrolls in the league.

While I didn’t get to see Scott Kazmir pitch for the A’s, baseball fans know his comeback story well by now. A couple of years ago, this guy was throwing for the Sugar Land Skeeters. Today, he’s a Cy Young candidate.

I don’t know if there’s a future Kazmir in the NHL right now. The Anaheim Ducks are hoping so with Dany Heatley.

But another, perhaps stronger, candidate is David Booth, the 29-year-old winger who was bought out by the Canucks after failing to produce in Vancouver at the same level he did in Florida, where he scored 87 goals in 309 games with the Panthers.

Booth’s stint with the Canucks was marred by injuries, bad luck, and, on occasion, simply poor play. He was an occasional healthy scratch and spent time this past season in the AHL on a conditioning assignment. Oh, and John Tortorella called him a “weird dude.”

When Booth’s Vancouver career came to an end, the Michigan native had scored just 26 goals in 134 games. He’ll be best remembered by Canucks fans for his hunting pictures.

In fairness to Booth, though, he suffered a serious ankle injury in March of 2013 — one the doctor told him would take a year to fully heal — and didn’t get near as much time on the power play with the Canucks as he did with the Panthers.

“I was playing 22 to 23 minutes and on 5-on-3s in Florida, and I haven’t had that opportunity this year,” said Booth. “You can’t expect 30 goals on the third line and not getting out on the power play.”

Despite the challenges he faced, Booth still managed to be a positive possession player with Vancouver. And before getting bought out, he finished 2013-14 with four goals in his last 10 games.

Speaking to the Vancouver Sun, Booth’s agent, Mike Liut, called the buyout “an opportunity to start over again” and said his client is “excited about it.”

“The way the season ended for him, in his mind, he knows he can play,” said Liut. “He’s getting back to 100 per cent and it’s a new challenge.”

Will anyone give Booth a shot? We’ll have to wait and see. Maybe he’ll have to accept a tryout, like another former much-maligned Canuck winger, Mason Raymond, did last year with the Maple Leafs. Raymond then scored 19 times for Toronto, earning a $9.5 million deal with the Flames.

  1. blomfeld - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    YES, WE WILL !!!

    Blomfeld, on behalf of all harmless and ‘innocent’ four-legged friends in the wild everywhere…

    *** actual video footage of comrade Zaytzev giving Booth a shot ***

    • esracerx46 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      Bears are harmless?

  2. lowenni - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    I would give him a shot if I was a team in need of scoring help. He’s got good size and decent defensive effort but he’s still got the shot he had in Florida and his skating is still good as well. While his numbers in Florida were definitely inflated by being a top line player which he likely won’t be anywhere else, it does show he can produce given the opportunity. His point about receiving significantly less playing time than in Florida is a fair one, and one people often overlook when talking about decrease in a players production. If he’d take a $1 mil contract I wouldn’t mind my Caps throwing one out there to him to see if he can produce at all on a line with a real center like Kuznetsov or something, he could be a good secondary scoring threat. Either way, good luck to David.

    • erbaker67 - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      I agree. If the money is right and he is put in a position where he can succeed, he is still a good player. I wouldnt mind the Penguins atleast talking to him, I wouldnt do anything more than 1-1.5 for him. Low risk contract IMO.

  3. thailer35 - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Arizona still has two open forward positions. C’mon Maloney, work your magic!

    • thesportsjudge - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      I don’t think it will require magic to get this guy. Pretty sure a simple offer will get the job done.

    • sporkov - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:58 PM

      thailer35, I am all for the Coyotes take a chance on him. He has offensive skills, he just needs a chance and some confidence. Both things that Tipp knows how to give a guy. Would give them the following line-up


  4. imleftcoast - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Booth shined last season after the Canucks were out of it and a two or three month scoring drought. He isn’t worth more than a million in salary, and I wouldn’t depend on him when the going gets tough. Maybe it was the coaching, but it seemed like he only played hard when he felt like it.

    The weird guy comment either reflected Tortorella’s inability to reach him or Booth’s just not being motivated like your average player. In either case, it seemed unprofessional and not fair to Booth. Torts should have kept that in the room.

  5. hosewater2 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Wonder if he and his agent would accept a two-way contract?

  6. jpelle82 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    sounds primed and ready for a 1 year 1 million dollar chance at being malkin or crosby’s “other winger”

    • wutangwild - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      My thoughts exactly. Not sure what the cap situation is in Pitt, but I would think they could take a million dollar or so risk on this guy.

      • jpelle82 - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        pretty sure shero woulda been done did it by now….

      • wutangwild - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        Isn’t Shero gone? or was that a joke haha

  7. billsin20xx - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    and I also wonder, will anyone ever give poor Lieno another shot too…… lol fat chance!

    • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      I’m guessing KHL or Finnish League for that guy.

      • bullwinkle88 - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        My beer league has an opening.

  8. eng201igorsukh - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Do it, Tim Murray.

  9. Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    I could see him getting a preseason tryout contract like Mason Raymond got with Toronto last year. If he proves he’s still good enough, someone will sign him for cheap. Low risk.

  10. 19inarow - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Maybe he’ll live up to his potential if he prays harder and kills more.

  11. vancouversportsbro - Jul 14, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    He is awful. The best thing Benning has done is get rid of Americans who can’t play the game of hockey or win games. First Ryan Kesler to let down the Anaheim Ducks franchise and then buying out David “weird guy” Booth. Both of those guys couldn’t pass the puck to save their lives or avoid being injured. Being injured was actually good, when they were in the lineup I doubt Vancouver won much at all last season.

  12. canadiansportsfan77 - Jul 14, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Perfect Isles candidate for a guy looking to rebuild his value as well. Playing with Tavares and Okposo for a yr can rebuild that value and provide the Isles with a strong first line

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