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Red Wings Sign David Booth to a One-Year, Two-Way Contract

Get set to overreact

NHL: Preseason-Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Big news out of Detroit this morning as roster finalization continues:

Craig Custance had the details almost immediately on this just-above-league-minimum deal for Booth:

Booth played well in preseason action for the Red Wings and earned this contract. While past concussion issues are always a concern, the Booth contract has a lot of good features for where the Red Wings are at right now:

  • The low salary can fill up a roster spot with very little cap issue on a team that still has to make moves to get compliant. Even better, it fills that spot with a guy whose best case is still more-than-NHL capable.
  • If Booth plays below best-case scenario, his entire salary is buryable and he goes away.
  • Booth is a work-hard veteran, the kind that GMs like to add “to the room” at the trade deadline, and is signed by a team that will probably be looking to sell at the deadline for the future value they need.
  • Booth being on the team should keep Ben Street on Grand Rapids’ top line, which is the best place for him.
  • He makes not only warm-body insurance against injuries, but there should be real competition on the fourth line when Tyler Bertuzzi is healthy again and if Tyler Bertuzzi can’t outplay David Booth and Luke Gritkowski, then perhaps he would need a bit more seasoning.

I know a lot of people are freaking out about Booth being signed and not Athanasiou, but essentially this is a bit more insurance against AA choosing to remain unsigned as the season goes on. Booth was good in preseason and this is a team that should be making moves like grabbing up cheap veterans you can flip at the deadline.

[Update: David Booth has been placed on waivers by the Red Wings today. If he clears, he will be eligible for assignment to Grand Rapids immediately)