John Tortorella once famously called David Booth a “weird dude“.

And you know what? The then-coach of the Vancouver Canucks wasn’t being mean.

I believe what he meant was that Booth is just a different cat. He certainly doesn’t run in the same circles as your typical NHLer. One thing for sure is that Booth is true to himself. What he says, he believes. He’s different for sure. But he’s unquestionably real. And he’s a blast to talk to. I’m not down with hunting large animals or anything like that, but there are still plenty of interesting things to talk to Booth about and almost none have anything to do about hockey.

Did you know he spends 10 to 14 days every year in some remote location to “live off the land?” Yes, he takes a few provisions, but by the time he’s done dining on berries, leaves and such Booth is usually down close to 20 pounds. He says that those getaways are a way to get him out of “his comfort zone.”

I ran down Booth Saturday in Detroit because I was interested in finding out if a story I heard in the summer was true.

Fresh off the ice with a big mop of hair and a big smile Booth is quick with a warm greeting. His isn’t quite a Fargo like drawl, but the accent is distinct.

Asked whether he was happy to be back in the NHL with the Red Wings after a season in the KHL and Booth says, “Better to be playing four minutes a night here than 24 a night there.”

He tried to enjoy the Russian experience as best as he could, but if he didn’t land a job in North America this season he was not going back. And yes he understands that would likely have been the end of his hockey career. Not the end of his life however, which is what I wanted to talk to him about.