David Booth is ready with a list of reasons he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs: He can play for an Original Six team close to home with a chance for some significant ice time.
"There's just so many things that I'm excited about," Booth said Wednesday on TSN 1050 Radio. "... Just the opportunity to, I guess, revive my career a little bit."
Booth this week signed a one-year contract with the Maple Leafs reportedly worth $1.1 million, after the forward was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks following his third disappointing season there.
Unable to play a full season since 2010-11 with the Florida Panthers, Booth finished with 51 points (26 goals) in 134 games with Vancouver.
"It's been a little bit tougher the past couple years, with some injuries, setbacks that I've had," he said on "The Bryan Hayes Show." "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."
Booth put up 31 goals and 29 assists (60 points) in 72 games for the Panthers in 2008-09, earning a lucrative six-year contract. He was traded to Vancouver on Oct. 22, 2011 and missed 78 games with knee, ankle and groin injuries.
The 29-year-old finished last season with six points in his final 10 games.
"I was playing better hockey there than the past couple seasons. So that was encouraging, sticking with it, and just making it through there and being able to skate again, and play again," Booth said. "I hope that will carry over with a strong summer here and really get ready for Toronto."
Booth said he chose Toronto in part because it is close to his hometown of Detroit and his parents can come see him play whenever they want. What role he'll have is uncertain, but there is room on the Maple Leafs depth chart for a left wing.
"I don't really want anyone to tell me where I'm going to be playing, I want to be able to earn that spot and be able to prove where I belong," Booth said. "I think everyone coming into training camp feels the same way."
He said his speed allows him to create offensive-zone time and wear down an opposing defense, with historic possession statistics that should help the Maple Leafs.
"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."
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