David Booth is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He will be free to sign with any NHL team, but the Toronto Maple Leafs might still be the best choice for him. Why? Well, for the exact same reason he signed with the Maple Leafs last season.
Last off-season, the Leafs signed Booth as well as players like Daniel Winnik and Mike Santorelli to one-year deals. All those players had something to prove and for the most part they did. As the trade deadline approached, what happened with them was pretty much what was planned from the beginning.
Bringing In Future Assets
Winnik was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Zach Sill and a second-round pick in 2016. Santorelli was included in the Cody Franson deal and the Leafs got the Nashville Predators’ first-round pick this year, as well as Brendan Leipsic. While Sill will more than likely not be back, the Leafs have some pretty good future assets for two players that didn’t really have much of a future in Toronto with the rebuild starting.
Now, Booth was not traded at the deadline for some reason. He played pretty well after the deadline passed as well. However, his bad luck with injuries continued this past season and he is not likely to get a deal that’s more than a season.
The Maple Leafs are the perfect team for him to once again try to show his stuff. He can help with the Leafs young players while he’s there, but come the trade deadline, he would be moved for a draft pick or a prospect. There is nothing to lose with re-signing Booth, but there could at least be a little to gain. It can be a deal for one-year, probably with a $1 million cap hit that will be easy to move.
If the Leafs let him go for nothing in July, what was the point of bringing him to Toronto in the first place? Toronto needs assets for the future and signing players like Booth could help them attain more.