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Booth eager to prove he ‘can play in this league again’

Jul 24, 2014, 9:06 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

David Booth’s tenure with the Vancouver Canucks was rocky, to put it mildly. The former 30-goal scorer finished the 2013-14 campaign with just 19 points in 66 contests. That’s over now though as he’ll have a fresh opportunity with Toronto after signing a one-year, $1.1 million contract.

“It’s been a little bit tougher the past couple years, with some injuries, setbacks that I’ve had,” Booth said, per NHL.com. “I’ve stayed positive through them all. … I thought I was playing some good hockey there toward the end of the year … and I’ve had a great summer of training, been healthy, and really excited to get a start here in Toronto.”

He feels that he did end the 2013-14 campaign on a high note — he recorded six points in his last 10 games — and he hopes that carries over to training camp. It will be important for him to hit the ground running given that he’ll have to fight for playing time. Unless they make a trade, the Maple Leafs will enter the preseason with 17 forwards inked to one-way contracts.

“I think if I can stay healthy and [work hard], it will show in my game,” Booth said. “I’ll be able to prove that I can play in this league again.”

This isn’t the first time the Maple Leafs have rolled the dice on a struggling former Canucks forward. They also took on Mason Raymond last summer and he rewarded them with a 19-goal, 45-point campaign. Toronto and Booth are hoping history will repeat itself.

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