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David Booth: Season Over? Probably So

Booth3 OTTAWA – David Booth missed 45 games after suffering his first concussion of his life on Oct. 24.

After getting his second on Thursday night in Montreal, it appears the Panthers star winger is done for the season.

Booth was released from a Montreal hospital early Friday morning and was later put on a plane bound for Miami International Airport. Booth is expected to examined by team medical personnel in South Florida and it will be determined whether or not he can be cleared to play again this season.

Yet with the Panthers playoff hopes all but dead and only nine games remaining, coach Pete DeBoer stressed that the organization needs to look at the big picture when it comes to Booth. Last year's leading goal scorer, Booth signed a six-year deal in the offseason and is the team's highest paid forward.

Booth had eight goals in 28 games this season – including four in the past five games.

“I'm not going to say Booth is done for the season, but he very well might be and there's a strong probability of that,'' DeBoer said after his team's workout in Ottawa on Friday.

“But the next step is to get him to Florida, get evaluated and we'll know more. I'm very concerned about it. Where we are in the standings, you have to weigh whether the risk makes sense. But the doctors will make that decision for us.''

When Booth suffered his first concussion in Philadelphia, Flyers captain Mike Richards was roundly criticized for his open ice hit that knocked Booth unconscious. On Thursday, Booth was working the puck into the Montreal zone when defenseman Jaroslav Spacek collided with Booth, hitting him flush in the face.

Booth was looking down at the ice and didn't appear to see Spacek coming. Spacek was not penalized on the play and seemed concerned for Booth's well being as he stood nearby on the ice as medical staff attended to him. Spacek's hit was called clean by just about every Panthers player and coach asked for an opinion on it.

“You can't just tell him to keep his head up because of the way he plays,'' said DeBoer. “He's aggressive and goes after the puck. The play [Thursday] was him making the extra effort and reaching for it. And a guy was there. That's the way he plays and unfortunately he's gotten a couple concussions because of it.''

Booth had just been coming out of his funk from the first concussion when he was hit with the second. He returned to the Panthers seven games before the February Olympic break, scoring no goals with two assists. The long rest between games seemed to be very beneficial to Booth as he scored two goals with four assists in his first two games back from the break.

DeBoer says he's going to mix up the lines before Saturday's game against the Senators and didn't say who would replace Booth on the second forward line. Bruiser Steve MacIntyre was recalled from the team's AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., but he's expected to play on the fourth line. Michael Frolik could slide up into Booth's spot.

“I think the team was deflated,'' center Stephen Weiss said regarding Thursday's hit. “You never want to see a guy get hurt like that, and after what happened earlier, that was pretty ugly. At least now he has the summer to rest and get better. Hopefully nothing is wrong. We're all thinking about him.''

-- Saturday's game is Florida's final game in Canada this season. The Panthers aren't done with Canadian teams, however. The Senators, Saturday night's opponent, visits Sunrise on April 6.


When, Where: 7 p.m.; Scotiabank Place, Kanata, Ont.

TV/Radio: FSNF; WAXY 790

The series: Senators lead 34-26-3

The game: The two have split the two games this season, with the road team winning each time. After losing five straight, the Senators beat Montreal and Philadelphia earlier this week before visiting Buffalo on Friday night. Florida had its modest two game winning streak snapped with a 4-1 loss in Montreal on Thursday. The Canadiens scored two empty net goals in the final 90 seconds.

Probable Lines: Tomas Vokoun, Scott Clemmensen

Bryan McCabe-Keith Ballard, Bryan Allen-Dmitry Kulikov, Jason Garrison-Keaton Ellerby

Cory Stillman-Stephen Weiss-Nathan Horton

Michael Frolik-Steven Reinprecht-Byron Bitz

Rostislav Olesz-Shawn Matthias-Radek Dvorak

Steve MacIntyre-Kamil Kreps-Nick Tarnasky


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That is just an awful looking line-up...
Can't believe we're not dead last. We need to be ACTIVE in FA otherwise we're done with hockey in SoFla.

It doesn't matter what the Doctors say, don't play the guy period.

It doesn't make sense to play him, bring up the young guys and see what they can do, get ready for the draft, free agency and next season.

Good idea Pete... let's rush Booth back into a push to finish 10th again. /sarc

GR-Do u get any sense from the Panthers that after Booth's second concussion, they believe it's possible that they can't count on him in the future and will approach the off-season with that unfortunate possibility in mind or will they just cross their fingers for his return to full health and no concussion recurrence?

I don't know right now, they haven't even told us how serious the concussion is. But this is something they are going to have to monitor for a while...

Well , with nothing other to play for the pride and being the spoiler i sure am looking forward to seing both Big Mac and Nasty Nicky on the 4th line.

"CCPantherfan": Obviously you are either blind or just oblivious since Pete said nothing about bringing Booth back this year. On second though maybe your just ignorant.

GeorgiaP and GR: Do you agree that going into next season, regardless of his "healthy" status Booth ought to begin wearing the "Messier" promoted helmet that has the increased padding and protection?!

I have seen that helmet and it's pretty hard...has like no flexibility...that wouldn't have helped him last night, but i would think he needs to take all precautions...as one staffer told me last night, he may want to go back to the full college cage...

oh, and I was really pushing pete to tell me that booth's season is over...he wouldn't do it, because he's patient and knows there is a process...they go through the doctors, yada yada...but booth's season is over and the look on pete's face told me he knows it too...

IMO,Sexton has to approach this coming off-season as Booth being a big question mark and not a player he can count on, regardless of the money invested in him. He must find a player of his quality to replace him. If Booth comes back healthy and productive that should be considered a bonus and then, if Sexton believes he would then have an excess of scoring line forwards, which myself would find hard to believe, he could trade the excess. Better to find Booth's replacement in the off-season than to cross your fingers and hope and then find out you have to find his replacement after the draft and free agency when the pick'ens will be much slimmer and more expensive. By the way George, do u know if the Panthers have insured Booth's contract in the case of possible career ending injury?

all contracts are insured, and I agree they need to move forward with the understanding that they cannot count on Booth.

They need to be proactive and that is not Sexton's style he is a sit back and wait and as such he needs to go.

Mark it down - Booth's career will be a short one. Two concussions in 5 months, including a serious Grade III, followed by a Grade I, is a recipe for disaster for a guy who has a bad habit of playing with his head down. One more concussion and he's finished, as most doctors will recommend that he retire as he risks health problems in later years. Another issue is that with each successive concussion, the brain is more prone to injury than it was previously.

Anyone who thinks he might play again this year is being foolish. He's done this year.

As for wearing a full cage, that won't change much. The force of impact isn't mitigated by the cage, at least not the cage worn on hockey helmets. That's why you see some NFL guys wearing those new Revolution helmets that also feature a very different attachment method for the facemask. There is nothing like it for hockey.

Does anyone realize what a concussion is? Its essentially a bruise to the brain. No matter how much padding a person has, a hard enough impact will cause a concussion. Technically, any rapid acceleration of the head can cause a concussion without any impact.

Trade him before he becomes Bret Lindros, or worse yet, Eric. I said when Olesz was drafted and people were saying how great he was and how similar to Jagr he was, that it was a mistake to draft him. They're eggheads and every time they step on the ice, an injury liability. They'll never play the game as aggressively, if they listen to the doctors, and if they do, honestly they're stupid.

Mike Van Ryn, last I knew, was the only active hockey player that has donated their brain to science at The Sports Legacy Institute. It was started by a Harvard graduate and former WWF wrestler (same person). He retired from wrestling because of concussions and is considered one of the top experts on it.

Good post Clash except it was Noah Welch that is donating his brain.

dirty hit for sure he had his elbow up you retards! clean hit to me is body on body !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! booth just has a number on him that teams look for and defense get sick of booth burining them all the time !

you guys are pathetic seriously! like booth had a grade three concussion and came back and look at the points he put up already! he has all summer to get better. its only his second concussion in his career. david booth is a born star you put him on the ice hes going to do something thats what star players do if hes doesnt think he can do that he wont play. There are alot of players who have had concussions out there 3-4 and come back and are the same players! i just think hes going to come back the same booth but with the mindset to keep his head up a bit more!
they need to trade vokoun this year to bring in another star player, and bring in markstrom. and god dam well better get rid of kreps give repik a shot and campbell and most of all olesz and his retarded contract! they can probably get a 5th round draft pick for !lol

Trade Booth? His value is at an all-time low right now after 2 concussions. I think keeping him and hoping he recovers after a full off-season is worth more than the late round pick he'd likely return RIGHT NOW. Who would take a risk on him with this kind of uncertainty???

His season over? His career is over!

Hey Canadian Writer - how can you have body on body contact without a shoulder being involved? Would that be stomach to stomach or chest on chest? I doubt highly you are really a "Canadian" Writer as anyone who has played the game can tell you that what you describe can rarely happen. Moreover, what you describe means hockey becomes a no-checking game. Hey, that's a recipe for success - turn the NHL into women's hockey, no body checking, just incidental contact!

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