David Booth on Torts: ‘He thought I was weird and I thought he was weird’


The Vancouver Canucks play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

For two members of the Maple Leafs – Mike Santorelli and David Booth – it means a meeting against their former team. Of course, the head coach behind Vancouver’s bench, now Willie Desjardins, is different from last year.

Under John Tortorella, fired after one dreadful season with the Canucks, Santorelli soared until a shoulder injury and surgery ended what was a bounce back season in January. For Booth, well, he had mixed results playing for the fiery bench boss and that’s putting it diplomatically. The two clearly had differing personalities.

Finally healthy, Booth was much better toward the end of the season.

By then, the speculation of a summer buyout was increasing as the Canucks fell further out of the playoff race and attention was turning toward off-season changes, which included the firing of Tortorella.

“Guys have different viewpoints on him,” said Booth, as per Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press. “He was hard. He thought I was weird and I thought he was weird.”

Booth underachieved in the three seasons he spent in Vancouver. He scored 16 goals and 29 points in 56 games in 2011-12, when Vancouver acquired him early in the season from Florida, but that was his most productive year with the Canucks.

His time with the Canucks was marred by injuries.

The Canucks used a compliance buyout on the charismatic forward in the off-season.

His luck didn’t change much after he arrived in Toronto. He suffered a fractured foot in the pre-season.

“It wasn’t even a blocked shot,” Booth told The Province newspaper in Vancouver. “Somebody passed it right to my foot, so it was really a fluke. I hate lower-body injuries, especially at the start of the season and it just seems to be my nemesis.

“And the stuff you need only comes with game shape, the reading of plays and puck protection. That takes time and it’s frustrating. But I think I’ve learned from past injuries to stay on top of it and keep spirits high or it’s going to be a long year.”

No hearing scheduled for Hanzal after Johnson hit


Arizona forward Martin Hanzal doesn’t have a disciplinary hearing scheduled following his hit on Colorado’s Erik Johnson Tuesday night, a NHL spokesman has confirmed.

Hanzal caught Johnson with a high hit while the Avs blueliner was reaching for a puck early in overtime:

Johnson left immediately and didn’t return, and here was no penalty on the play. Following the game, Avs head coach Patrick Roy said Johnson was “doing well” but, shortly thereafter, the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers followed up with this:

Hanzal appears to have avoided punishment despite his reputation as a repeat offender. Last season, he was fined for a high stick on then-Canucks forward David Booth; Hanzal was also suspended two games for charging Oilers d-man Jeff Petry.

Though disciplinary matters are often quickly attended to, the league reserves the right to schedule a hearing with Hanzal later if it so chooses. Arizona doesn’t play again until Saturday night.

Video: Hanzal with an elbow to the head of Erik Johnson


Martin Hanzal caught Avs’ defenseman Erik Johnson with an elbow to the head early in overtime Tuesday night.

Johnson was reaching on the play and Hanzal connected with the Avs’ blue liner in vulnerable position.

There was no penalty on the play.

Johnson left the game and did not return.

Hanzal could be hearing from NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety, Stephane Quintal, as he has quite the rap sheet.

Last season alone Hanzal was fined for a high stick on then Canucks forward David Booth. He was also suspended two games for a charging penalty he received for a hit on Jeff Petry.

During the 2012 playoffs Hanzal was suspended one game for a hit on the Kings’ Dustin Brown.

Leafs recall Booth, Holzer

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With several players on the limp, Toronto made a pair of recalls on Monday by bringing up defenseman Korbinian Holzer and forward David Booth from the Marlies.

Holzer, 26, is back in the mix following Roman Polak’s injury on Saturday against Detroit. While it’s not known exactly what’s ailing Polak, Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle said the Czech rearguard would “be out for a while” after getting tangled with Tomas Tatar.

Holzer has 24 games of NHL experience on his resume, but has yet to play for the Leafs this season.

As for Booth, he’ll look to debut this week after missing all of the season with a broken foot suffered during the exhibition campaign. The 30-year-old, who inked a one-year deal this summer after spending the last few years in Vancouver, heads back to Toronto after a successful conditioning stint with the Marlies, in which he scored once in two games.

The Leafs have been thinned-out up front with injuries to Joffrey Lupul and Brandon Kozun, along with the suspension to Carter Ashton.

As for Wednesday’s game against Pittsburgh, the likely candidates to come out for Booth would be either Richard Panik or Josh Leivo, both of whom got less than seven minutes of ice against the Red Wings on Saturday.

Leafs waive Frattin, Booth debut near?


It’s not the shakeup many expected, but it’s still a change — following last night’s 9-2 loss to Nashville, Toronto put Matt Frattin on waivers.

The move is likely to facilitate the return of David Booth, who’s yet to play this year because of a broken foot. The veteran winger could be back when the Leafs host the Bolts on Thursday.

As for Frattin, the 26-year-old speedster didn’t have much success in his second stint with the Leafs. Traded from Toronto to L.A. as part of the Jonathan Bernier deal in June of ’13, Frattin split last season between the Kings and Jackets before being re-acquired by Toronto in July (for Jerry D’Amigo).

Frattin’s only appeared in six games this year, and hasn’t played since a 5-4 win over the Rangers on Nov. 8.