“You don't just want to talk about sunglasses, do you,” he joked.
It's been almost two weeks since Booth's season was ended after he suffered his second concussion in a six month span – but at least the Panthers winger still has his sense of humor.
Booth spoke publicly Monday for the first time since he was knocked out during a collision with Canadiens defenseman Jaroslav Spacek on March 25 in Montreal. Booth was playing the puck near the boards when he was hit in the face from Spacek on a play completely within the rules.
Booth suffered a large cut on the bridge of his nose and was taken to a local hospital for tests. He was released and sent back to South Florida where he is under strict orders not to do much of anything. Luckily for Booth, the second concussion wasn't as severe as the first – but having two concussions in one season is a concern.
“I feel a lot normal quicker than I did then,'' Booth said. “There aren't many symptoms now, just some sleep and headaches. Those things are expected. It's definitely not as bad as the last one.''
Booth missed 45 games earlier this season after he was concussed after being hit in open ice by Philadelphia captain Mike Richards on Oct. 24. Booth admits to trying to come back from that concussion too soon, and that only set him back more. Booth not only wanted to come back to help the Panthers, but also to try and make the U.S. national team at the Olympics.
Because of the uncertainty of his return, Booth was left off Team USA. Today, Booth knows time is on his side in this recovery as he doesn't have any hockey in his immediate future. The Panthers don't open training camp until Sept. 10.
“I have the whole summer,'' said Booth. “I'm not doing much, just relaxing at home. It's been nice.''
Coach Pete DeBoer and the Panthers training staff were extremely cautious with Booth after his first concussion, knowing full well that Booth's work ethic could be a deterrence to his recovery. “I was worried about coming back, playing on the Olympic team,'' he said. “I forced myself.'' This time around, Booth says he's fully sticking to the plan as he has experience on his side.
“He has plenty of time to heal and get himself right,'' said DeBoer. “All the results back have been positive compared to the last one. We definitely miss him. We're a different team with him in the lineup.''
The Panthers injured list continues to grow as winger Cory Stillman is out after injuring his back Saturday against the Rangers. Florida sent back two forwards to its AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., on Sunday, but quickly called back two on Monday.
“He wasn't moving around well [Monday],'' DeBoer said regarding Stillman.
Enforcer Steve MacIntyre is back after being returned to Rochester on Friday; Evgeny Dadonov will make his NHL debut on Tuesday.
Dadonov, the 71st overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Panthers, has 17 goals with 23 assists with the Americans this season. This is Dadonov's first North American pro season as he played in Russia last year.
“He's a very skilled, talented player, but he had to adjust to the North American game,'' general manager Randy Sexton said of Dadonov. “He's done that and has worked hard on both ends of the puck. His offense has really picked up in the second half of the season as he's adjusted. We're rewarding a guy who deserves the chance.''
-- Victor Oreskovich missed the past two games with an undisclosed injury but practiced Monday and will play Tuesday against the Senators. Defenseman Bryan Allen (ribs) didn't practice Monday and is out against the Sens as Clay Wilson will play in his second straight NHL game.
-- Here is the local media schedule for the rest of the season. Some of you in South Florida will have to get your radio fix somewhere else at the end of the week as 790 The Ticket is broadcasting the Marlins. This is direct from Randy Moller.
4/6 Panthers vs Ottawa 7pm No FS Florida on Center Ice Package Radio: 790am
4/8 Panthers vs NJ Devils 7:30pm FS Florida, and Center Ice Package Radio: 640am
4/10 Panthers @ TB Lightning 7:30pm FS Florida, on Center Ice Package Radio: 640am
4/11 Panthers vs TB Lightning 5pm FS Florida and Center Ice Package Radio: 790am
TUESDAY: SENATORS AT PANTHERS
When, Where: 7 p.m.; BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise
TV/Radio: No local TV; WAXY 790
The series: Senators lead 34-26-3
The game: Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson will play in his 1,000th career NHL game on Tuesday. Alfredsson knows the Panthers well. Not only did he score his first NHL goal against Florida in 1995, but he has 22 goals and 25 assists in 49 career games against the Cats. The Panthers won the season series against the Sens last year for the first time since 1998-99, but can only finish .500 against them this season. Ottawa has won two of the first three meetings this season and are 27-10-0-2 against Florida since the start of the 1999-2000 season. Tomas Vokoun will be in net for the Panthers after Scott Clemmensen started the previous two (1-1-0).
-- I know I'm late to this game, but here is some completely unbiased fan coverage of a Toronto Maple Leafs loss to Atlanta earlier this season. Good stuff.