For good reason.
who has out since being knocked cold by Philadelphia's Mike Richards on Oct.
24, is training at Michigan State and working with a skating coach.
The Panthers felt Booth wouldn't get enough ice time if he traveled
with the team this week, so instead of working out by himself in
Sunrise, he traveled to his alma mater to work with Jennifer Matras.
Booth has worked with Matras in past offseasons to strengthen his skating.
“We felt he needed some technical instruction because he's been off the skates a lot,'' said general manager Randy Sexton. “It made perfect sense. It's the logical next step in his progression. .-.-. Everyone should rest assured that he'll come back when he's ready to come back and when it's appropriate for him to come back.''
Coach Pete DeBoer said Sunday night that he expected Booth to return to the ice this season although he will no longer offer any type of a time line because of the severity of the injury. Booth has been working out and skating since last month, and DeBoer says his skating time on the ice is up to close to an hour.
Sexton said giving a potential date for Booth's return would only be a guess and might “create false expectations for our fans, the media, for David.''
The Panthers are holding their organizational scouting meetings in Toronto. Sexton said all aspects of the organization are being reviewed and other teams are in that mix as well. The trading deadline is March 3 this season – just after the Olympic break ends.
“I like this group,'' Sexton said. “I would like us to be healthy because when we do, we have a very solid team. Our guys have sucked it up to get us where we are and going forward we'll keep doing that until we're completely healthy.''
USA VS. CANADA
The tournament starts on Dec. 26 – Boxing Day in Canada – and ended with the United States playing Canada in the title bout on Tuesday. With a number of players from the U.S. and Canada in the Florida locker room, there were plenty of friendly wagers going around.
“You're 4 or 5-year-old and it's Christmas and that's what's on if you are a Canadian kid,'' said Stephen Weiss, who won a Silver for Canada in 2002. “You are watching that tournament and you want to be a part of it.''
“That's a big buzz in the room,'' he said. “It's a great time of the year and it's my favorite tournament in hockey at any level. Hopefully we'll get a Panther and a Canadian win [Tuesday].''
-- The Panthers benched Nick Tarnasky on Tuesday as enforcer Steve MacIntyre was recalled from the minors.
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