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Panther's Roster: David Booth

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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