Red Wings forward David Booth, 32, talks about not giving up on getting back to the NHL. Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News
Detroit — Forward David Booth came into Red Wings training camp on a professional tryout, and wound up with a contract.
Booth, 32, of Washington Township and Michigan State, signed a one-year, two-way contract Monday.
“Starting in April, or even in August, I would have said this was probably the hardest chance I’ve ever had to make it,” Booth said. “It’s one of those things even as a player sometimes you lose that sense of confidence in yourself and you’re just not sure, but I’ve always been a guy who has hung on to my faith.”
In five preseason games, Booth had one assist with a plus-2 plus-minus rating, and 16 shots on net (second on the team).
Booth spent the last two seasons in Russia’s KHL where he had 10 goals and 14 assists (24 points) in 42 games with Admiral Vladivostok and Avangard Omsk.
“I didn’t know what to expect, I hadn’t seen David play in a long time,” Red Wings head coach Blashill said. “Sometimes you go to the KHL and you’re out of sight, out of mind. He just came in and did a real good job. He brought speed, physicality and the ability to make plays offensively.”
With Tyler Bertuzzi (neck) out with an injury for the next month and Andreas Athanasiou still unsigned, there was an opening among the forwards.
Booth will begin the season on the fourth line.
To keep Booth, the Red Wings waived defenseman Ryan Sproul, who has until noon Tuesday to clear waivers.
If Sproul goes unclaimed, he’ll be sent to Grand Rapids.
Luke Witkowski (Holland/Western Michigan) earned a roster spot as an extra defenseman and forward.