Panther’s Roster: David Booth

Photo Source: Zimbio.com

So the Trade Deadline is February 28th at 3PM EST. What we’re going to do from now until then is do an honest roster break down day by day for the month of February.  Today, we look at David Booth

When he signed his current six year contract following the 2008-2009 season, Booth looked like a rising star in the league. He was young, charismatic (or so the ladies tell me) and most importantly, he was coming off a 60 point season (31 goals) for the Florida Panthers, who just missed the playoffs. Then came a devastating hit from Philadelphia’s Mike Richards that gave Booth his first of two concussions last season. He missed 53 total games due to the injuries.

Fast Forward to this season and while he is tied for first in goals for the Panthers, his game seems off. Many nights, Booth seems content streaking up the left wing and firing bad angle shots from the faceoff circle that hit opposing goalies square in the chest, instead of driving the puck to the net. He excels when he’s in the ‘dirty areas’ and that’s where most of his goals have come from this season. His defense has been up and down, which contributes to him currently having a -11 rating.

I don’t think Booth is going anywhere at this stage (and the ladies of South Florida rejoice!). The organization will (and should) be patient with him, realizing that he’s too talented to think about moving this early in his career, especially in light of his continued recovery from the concussions. According to Capgeek, Booth’s cap hit is $4.25 million. I think next season is a big one for Booth and he’ll be expected to contribute enough to justify his cap hit. Otherwise, when we do this next season, expect him to be the subject of much trade speculation.

Personally, I hope he sticks here. He seems like a great kid and I like the way he handled his injury situation (especially dropping the gloves with Richards after his first return).  He’s got speed to burn, but he just needs to develop a somewhat formidable shot and be more consistent about going to the net and I think his game will start to blossom again.

Any and all comments are well appreciated! Thanks for reading!

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Topics: David Booth, Florida Panthers, Mike Richards

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  • slapshot1106

    Mixed feelings here. I think we all love his effort, and wish the whole team had as much heart and soul.. On that note, he probably timed the market well, as he scored his 31 goals and signed the 6 year deal.. I think the Panthers are so up against it about signing guys that produce when they get them that they extend lengthy contracts to keep them here… Then you get a concussion case, and you just never know… Anyhow, hopefully there’s some sort of insurance policy on those deals in case the player’s career is shortened…

    I would think the best hope would be for the Panthers to develop and acquire enough talent that it pushes Booth to more of a 2nd line player. That way it wouldn’t be so devastating if he goes down again like Marc Savard.. Like you mention, I think the Panthers will have to keep him around for another year or 2, as other teams would probably be leery of taking on a risky concussion-case..
    On top of that, I don’t think the reward you’d get back now would justify the player lost… I think they’ll have to keep him, play it out, and re-evaluate year by year..

    A few years back, many of the teams were handing out very long-term contracts. Guys like Sidney, AO, Richards, etc were signed and it seemed like a no-brainer, but nowadays I think teams are shying away from them.. Unless it’s for top-line talent, then the risk probably isn’t worth it. We were lucky to get rid of the overpayment of Ballard’s contract, probably lucky we didn’t sign J-Bo to what he now makes, and we’ll never be able to get rid of the vast overpayment in Olesz’s contract… Let’s hope we learn from our mistakes…

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