Should the Sabres claim David Booth?
The Sabres need to pick up salary, and David Booth could be a good option for next season.
The big story in Sabreland today was the waiving of Ville Leino, but there was another player that joined him on waivers today. That player would be David Booth, who was placed on unconditional waivers by the Canucks in order to buy him out.
With the Sabres likely using a conditional buyout on Leino so he won't be on the books for years to come, they could be in a predicament when it comes to the salary cap. They are currently $18 million under the projected salary cap floor, and even with signing players like Tyler Ennis to deals they still will have a ways to go in order to get to the floor. The free agency crop this season isn't all that impressive, and Tim Murray won't want to overpay a player with a new contract as it could lead cap problems when the team is competitive.
Here's where Booth fits it. Booth is on the last year of a contract that carries a $4,250,000 cap hit. Although his production hasn't met the level his contract would demand, he did score nine goals and ten assists this season. Most importantly, he would benefit the Sabres by helping them get to the floor without having any long term commitment. Someone needs to play for the team this year, and even if he can't get back to his 20-plus goal production that he had in Florida, the Sabres would simply part ways with him at the end of the year with a thank you card for helping them get another top-two pick.
Booth, 29, played in three seasons for the Canucks after the Panthers traded him and Steven Reinprecht to Vancouver for Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm. His best season was in 2008-2009 when he had 60 points with the Panthers. His best season in Vancouver was his first, when he scored 16 goals and 13 assists in 56 games.
Before any player is bought out they must first clear waivers, which is how a team could pick up a player for the salary and contract length that he is currently on. As the worst team in the league, the Sabres have first dibs on any player on waivers.