David Booth (ice hockey)

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David Booth
David Booth Canucks practice 2012b.jpg
Booth during a Canucks' practice in 2012
Born (1984-11-24) November 24, 1984 (age 29)
Detroit, MI, USA
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 212 lb (96 kg; 15 st 2 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Toronto Maple Leafs
Florida Panthers
Vancouver Canucks
National team  United States
NHL Draft 53rd overall, 2004
Florida Panthers
Playing career 2006–present

David Jonathan Booth (born November 24, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey player who is currently a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Following his second year with the Michigan State Spartans, he was selected 53rd overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He spent four years playing college hockey before turning professional with the Panthers organization in 2006–07. After recording career-highs in goals, assists and points, as well as being voted the Panthers' most valuable player by the team's fans in 2008–09, he suffered two concussions the following season. Midway through his sixth year in the league, Booth was traded to the Canucks in a four-player deal.

Known as an offensive forward and a fast skater,[1] he has reached the 30-goal plateau once in his NHL career. Representing the United States in international competition, he has won gold medals at the 2002 IIHF World U18 and 2004 IIHF World U20 Championships. He has also competed in the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

Playing career[edit]

Amateur career[edit]

After playing minor hockey with the Fraser Falcons, then the Detroit Honeybaked of the Midwest Elite Hockey League,[2] Booth moved on to the Junior A level with the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). He recorded 30 points (17 goals and 13 assists) over 42 games in 2000–01, earning him NAHL All-Rookie Team and Rookie of the Year honours.[3] The following season, he joined the United States National Team Development Program and competed for their junior and under-18 teams in the United States Hockey League (USHL) and NAHL, respectively.

During his time with the Development Program, he committed to an athletic scholarship with the Michigan State Spartans of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).[4] Joining the Spartans in 2002–03, he recorded 36 points (17 goals and 19 assists) over 39 games, ranking 4th in team scoring and 13th in the CCHA overall.[5][6] His freshman year included two CCHA Rookie of the Week distinctions[5] and a hat trick, recorded on January 10, 2003, in a 5–2 win against the Alaska Nanooks.[7] His efforts as a freshman earned him Spartans Rookie of the Year and CCHA All-Rookie Team honours.[3][5] Although Booth was eligible for the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) rules stipulated that players under the age of 19 could not opt into the draft without foregoing their college eligibility.[8]

Early the following season, Booth sustained a knee injury that forced him out of the lineup for several games.[9] He finished his sophomore year with 18 points (8 goals and 10 assists) over 30 contests. Despite his decreased offensive production, he remained highly ranked by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau (CSB) at the end of the season for the upcoming 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He was listed at 27th among skaters playing in North America by the CSB, while The Hockey News ranked him 33rd overall.[8] During the draft, Booth was selected in the second round, 53rd overall, by the Florida Panthers. He was scouted as a player with size and toughness, while a USA Today article declared that he "would have gone much higher if he opted into the draft [the previous] season."[10]

Following his draft, Booth returned to Michigan State to complete his four-year tenure with the school. During his junior year,[notes 1] he and teammate Bryan Lerg set a Spartans record for the fastest two goals scored in a game (five seconds apart). Their goals came in a 6–5 overtime loss to the Alaska Nanooks in February 2005 and surpassed the previous record by one second.[11][notes 2] Later that month, Booth sustained a cracked rib and was sidelined for several games.[12] He finished the 2004–05 season with 16 points (7 goals and 9 assists) over 29 contests.[3]

In the first month of his senior year, Booth played in his 100th career college game in a contest against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux on October 16, 2005. He recorded a short handed goal in a 3–0 win.[13] Booth later missed some playing time due to injury before returning to the lineup in late-November 2005.[14] After struggling to score in the first half of the 2005–06 season (he recorded nine points in the first three months), Booth finished with 35 points (13 goals and 22 assists) over 37 games. His strong offensive production in the second half included an 11-game point-scoring streak that was broken on the last regular season game against the Miami RedHawks.[15] In the 2006 CCHA playoffs, Booth helped the Spartans to a Mason Cup as league champions. Facing the Miami RedHawks in the final, Booth scored the game-winning goal six minutes in the second period, securing a 2–1 win for Michigan State.[16] Moving on to the 2006 NCAA Tournament, they were eliminated in the regional final by the Maine Black Bears 5–4. Booth scored a goal and an assist in the losing effort.[17] Over four years with the Spartans, Booth finished his college career with 105 points in 134 games.[3]

Florida Panthers (2006–11)[edit]

Booth during his tenure with the Panthers.

On July 20, 2006, Booth signed with the Panthers.[18] Joining the organization, he was assigned to the Panthers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Rochester Americans, to start the 2006–07 season. Within two months, he was called up to the Panthers on November 20.[19] Making his NHL debut that night against the Boston Bruins, he registered 11-and-a-half minutes of ice time in a 3–2 win.[20] After being returned to the AHL six days later, he received another call-up the following month.[19] During his second stint with the team, he recorded his first NHL point on December 12 against the Anaheim Ducks. Booth drew the first assist on the game's first goal by Drew Larman; the Panthers went on to lose 5–4.[21] Sent back down to Rochester and recalled one more time in December, he remained with the team for the remainder of the campaign.[19] Booth later scored his first NHL goal on January 4, 2007, against Jamie McLennan in a 5–4 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames.[22] In the final month of the season, he registered his first game-winning goal in the NHL on April 6 in a 7–2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.[23][24] Booth completed his rookie season with 10 points (3 goals and 7 assists) over 48 NHL games, while also recording 14 points (7 goals and 7 assists) over 25 AHL games. As the Panthers failed to qualify for the 2007 playoffs, ranking 12th in the Eastern Conference,[25][notes 3] Booth was returned to the AHL for the Americans' post-season. He recorded two assists over six playoff games as Rochester was eliminated in the first round by the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Early in the 2007–08 season, Booth was injured after receiving a check from behind during a game against the Ottawa Senators on October 20, 2007. While playing the puck, he collided with Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov, causing his head to hit the boards. Volchenkov received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct on the play, while Booth was taken off the ice in a stretcher. He was brought to an Ottawa hospital for precautionary measurses and returned home the same night with a sore neck. While a suspension for Volchenkov was suggested in the media following the game, the league chose not to hold a hearing regarding the incident. Senators head coach John Paddock was quick to dismiss the notion of a suspension, asserting that Booth turned into Volchenkov, as opposed to the Senators defenceman forcefully initiating contact.[26] Booth missed one game due to the injury.[19] Later in the campaign, he missed eight games with a knee injury.[19] Missing nine games total, he recorded 40 points (22 goals and 18 assists) over 73 contests, ranking fourth in team scoring.[27] Becoming an integral part of the Panthers' lineup, he also led the team with six game-winning goals.[28] As a team, the Panthers remained out of the playoffs in 2008, finishing 11th in the East.[29]

The following season, Booth recorded his first career NHL natural hat trick against the Anaheim Ducks on November 9, 2008. He scored all the Panthers goals against Jean-Sebastien Giguere in a 3–1 win over the Anaheim Ducks.[30] The following month, he sustained a left shoulder injury that sidelined him for eight games.[19] After returning, he began an eight-game point-scoring streak that lasted from December 27, 2008 to January 10, 2009.[31] Later in the season, he recorded another hat trick in a contest against the St. Louis Blues on March 7, 2009. Scoring all three goals against Chris Mason, Booth helped the Panthers to a 5–3 win. His efforts made him the fourth player in team history to register two hat tricks in one season, after Pavel Bure, Ray Sheppard and Olli Jokinen. He also added an assist for a four-point game.[32] Booth bettered that single-game total during the last contest of the regular season, scoring two goals and three assists for a personal best five-point effort in a 7–4 win against the Washington Capitals on April 11, 2009.[33] Booth finished the season with career-highs of 31 goals, 29 assists and 60 points over 72 games. While leading the Panthers in goals, powerplay goals (11), game-winning goals (5; tied with Nathan Horton, and shots (246), he finished one point behind team-leader Stephen Weiss (who played six more games than Booth).[34] Booth's efforts helped the Panthers compete for a playoff spot late in the season for the first time in his tenure with the club. They finished the season tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with the Montreal Canadiens at 41 wins and 93 points each. The Canadiens earned the spot over the Panthers by virtue of having won the season series between the two teams.[35]

During his breakout season, Booth became a favorite among team followers; home fans at BankAtlantic Center were known to cheer "Booooth" when he touched the puck during games.[31] At the end of the campaign, he was chosen by the fans as the team's most valuable player in an official online vote.[33] Set to become a restricted free agent in the off-season, Booth was tendered a qualifying offer by the Panthers on June 29, 2009.[19] Two days later, he signed a six-year, US$25.5 million contract.[36] Upon announcing the contract, Panthers general manager Randy Sexton heralded Booth as "undoubtedly an important part of [the] club's future...[and] a role model for other players," while embodying "every attribute of what a true Panthers player stands for".[31]

During the first month of the 2009–10 season, Booth sustained a concussion after being hit by Philadelphia Flyers forward Mike Richards during a game on October 24, 2009. Skating up to the Flyers' blueline, Booth had shot the puck into the offensive zone when Richards hit him in the head with his shoulder. Rendered unconscious, Booth was taken off the ice on a stretcher and brought to a Philadelphia hospital. In addition to his concussion, he sustained a cut above one eye that required stitches;[37] he was released from hospital the next day. While Richards received a five-minute major penalty for interference and a game misconduct for intent to injure,[38] he was not suspended for the play. The decision not to further penalize Richards proved to be a highly contentious issue. Panthers general manager Randy Sexton and defenceman Keith Ballard voiced their opinion that Richards' hit was directed at the head while knowing Booth was in a vulnerable position, warranting a suspension.[39] The Flyers captain expressed concern for Booth's health both in the media and to Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer personally, but asserted that he was not intending to hurt him. Another concern was the timing of Richards' hit, as Booth had already released the puck. In response, NHL vice president Bill Daly explained that the hit was not late enough to justify a suspension.[37]

Booth was not cleared for full-contact practice with the team on January 25, 2010. Six days later, he returned to the lineup for a game against the New York Islanders after being sidelined for 45 contests.[19][40] During his absence, the Panthers and Flyers played each other on December 21, 2009, for the first time since Richards' hit. The game included four fights, including one between Panthers defenceman and captain Bryan McCabe and Richards. The teams met again with Booth in the lineup on March 3, 2010. After fighting Richards in the first period (one of four fights in the game and Booth's first in the NHL),[41] Booth scored a goal and three assists (completing a Gordie Howe hat trick) to help the Panthers to a 7–4 win.[42]

Although the league had not suspended Richards for his actions against Booth, the incident was instrumental in the league's newfound efforts to eliminate hits to the head, particularly against players who cannot see the oncoming checker approaching (as was the case with Booth). Several months after Booth's October 2009 concussion, Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard was hit by Matt Cooke in a similar fashion on March 7.[41][43] Later that month, on March 25, the NHL Board of Governors and NHL Players Association's executive board voted in favour of a rule penalizing "blindside hits" (bodychecking a player after having skated laterally towards him undetected, an idea similar to one's "blind spot" while driving). That same night, Booth suffered his second concussion in five months during a game against the Montreal Canadiens. While reaching back to retrieve a loose puck, Booth was hit in the head by opposing defenceman Jaroslav Spacek's shoulder. No penalty was called on the play, while Booth was helped off the ice and taken to hospital. The hit did not receive suspension and did not spark controversy as Booth's previous concussion had. Following the game, Panthers forward Nathan Horton asserted that "It wasn't a dirty hit"; Spacek expressed concern for Booth, but explained that "when he turned I was standing right there and basically he just ran at me."[44] Sidelined for the remaining nine games of the season,[19] Booth finished the campaign with 16 points (8 goals and 8 assists) over 28 games. After pushing for a playoff spot the previous season, the Panthers ranked second-worst in the East with 32 wins and 77 points.[45]

While Booth's hockey-playing future was initially in doubt following his second concussion,[46] he returned for the 2010–11 season and played all 82 games. Averaging 19 minutes of ice time per game (second among forward behind Weiss), he led the Panthers with 23 goals while ranking third with 40 points (behind Weiss and Mike Santorelli).[47] With 280 shots, including a 14-shot effort against the Bruins on November 18, 2010,[48] he led all Panthers' players and ranked 12th in the NHL overall.[49] As a team, the Panthers continued to struggle and general manager Dale Tallon began trading away many of their veteran players towards the end of the season; they finished with the worst record in the East.[50]

Booth during a team practice in his first year with the Canucks

Vancouver Canucks (from 2011)[edit]

Less than a month into the 2011–12 season, Booth was traded to the Vancouver Canucks on October 22, 2011. The Panthers sent him, along with forward Steven Reinprecht and a third round pick in the 2013 draft, to Vancouver in exchange for forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm.[51] Tallon described the deal as a performance-based trade;[52][53] Booth had registered one assist over the first six games of the season and had a team-worst –6 plus-minus rating while being demoted to the third line. Booth was saddened and admittedly surprised at the trade.[1] Booth had also been reportedly sought after by Vancouver for six months prior; the team conferred with alternate captain Ryan Kesler regarding Booth's character on and off the ice (the two grew up playing minor and junior hockey together).[54] Joining Vancouver, he switched his jersey number from 10 to 7, in honour of his younger sister, Rachael, who also wears the number as a hockey player.[1]

Playing on the second line with countrymen Ryan Kesler and Christopher Higgins, the scoring unit was immediately nicknamed the "American Express" line.[1] The unit has been occasionally shuffled, however, with Cody Hodgson replacing Higgins in some instances.[55] Booth scored his first goal as a Canuck 15 days after the trade, opening the scoring in a 6–2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks.[56] The following month, Booth suffered a right medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury after a knee-on-knee hit from Colorado Avalanche forward Kevin Porter during a game on December 6, 2011. Porter received a five-minute major and game misconduct for the play,[57] while a subsequent hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan resulted in a four game suspension.[58] Booth was sidelined for 18 games over six weeks with the injury, returning in mid-January 2012.[19]

He finished the regular season with 16 goals and 30 points over 62 games. Having never qualified for the playoffs with the Panthers previously in his career, Booth made his post-season debut in 2012. Playing against the Los Angeles Kings, he recorded one assist over five games as the first-seeded Canucks were eliminated in the first round. Booth told reporters prior to the playoffs that he was struggling with his diminished role with the Canucks, in comparison to his time with the Panthers, alluding to his ice time. The previous year, he was averaging nearly 19 minutes per game, which dropped to 15 minutes as a Canuck.[59]

On June 17, 2014, the Canucks placed Booth on unconditional waivers,[60] and the following day after he cleared waivers the Canucks used their final compliance buyouts on him[61] and Booth became an unrestricted free agent.

Toronto Maple Leafs (from 2014)[edit]

On July 22, 2014, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Booth to a one-year contract worth $1.1 million.[62]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold 2004 Helsinki
IIHF U18 Championships
Gold 2002 Piešťany

During his tenure with the United States National Team Development Program, Booth competed at the 2002 IIHF World U18 Championship, held in Trnava and Piestany, Slovakia. Playing Russia in the last game of the final round, Booth scored the United States' first two goals of the game. A win against Russia placed the United States in a tie for the gold medal with four wins and one tie each. In order to beat Russia on the goal-differential tiebreaker, they needed to win the contest by two goals. Leading 2–1 with a minute remaining, the United States pulled their goalie and Zach Parise scored with thirty seconds left to capture the gold medal. Booth was named MVP of the gold medal game.[2] Booth finished the tournament with two goals and two assists over eight games.[63]

Two years later (now a member of the Michigan State Spartans), he moved on to the under-20 level, competing at the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championships, held in Helsinki and Hameenlinna, Finland. He recorded his lone assist of the tournament on Dan Fritsche's game-winning goal in the semifinal against Finland.[64] Booth and the United States went on to win the gold medal with a 4–3 win over Canada in the final.[65] With a goal and an assist over six games, Booth tied for 12th in team point-scoring.[66] In a 2011 interview for Canucks.com, Booth recalled his IIHF U18 and U20 gold medals as his first- and second-best hockey memories, respectively.[2]

Following Booth's second season in the NHL with the Panthers, he was named to his first United States men's team for the 2008 IIHF World Championships, held in Halifax and Quebec City, Canada. He scored his lone goal of the tournament (also his first international goal and point at the men's level) in a 5–1 preliminary round win against Slovakia.[67] In the quarterfinals, the United States lost 3–2 to Finland and finished the tournament in sixth place.[68][69]

The following year, he was invited to the national team's summer orientation camp in anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympics.[31] Booth later recalled that making the Olympic team was his goal at the start of the 2009–10 NHL season.[40] During the first month of NHL play, however, Booth suffered a concussion and was sidelined long-term. When the final Olympic roster was announced on January 1, 2010, Booth was still recovering from the injury and he was not selected.[70]

Playing style[edit]

At 6 feet (1.83 metres) and 212 pounds (96 kilograms), Booth's size enables him to play in the style of a power forward. Along with his physical stature, he is a fast skater, both of which allow him to retain the puck and contribute to his offensive skills.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Booth was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in the nearby Washington Township of Macomb County.[4] His father's name is Mike.[37] Booth has two brothers and one sister, Rachael.[52] During Booth's career with the Panthers, he lived with his younger brother in Florida.[52] Raised in a Christian household, Booth has publicly professed his faith into his professional career.[71] Growing up, he was a fan of the Detroit Red Wings and attended home games as his family owned season tickets.[4] He has listed favorite players as a child as Red Wings forwards Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan,[2] as well as Keith Tkachuk, who played for the Phoenix Coyotes franchise, St. Louis Blues and Atlanta Thrashers.[4]

During Booth's minor hockey career, he was linemates with fellow Michigan-native Ryan Kesler for two years, beginning at age 12. The two went on to become teammates with the U.S. National Development Team Program, the U.S. national junior team and the Vancouver Canucks.[54] In addition to hockey, he also played baseball and golf growing up.[2]

Booth earned his secondary education at Lutheran High School North in Macomb and Huron High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He moved to and graduated from the latter to facilitate his participation with the United States National Development Program, which was based out of Ann Arbor.[4] During his tenure with the Development Program, he made the choice to play NCAA hockey, opting against the major junior Ontario Hockey League in order to attend college. The decision was encouraged by his father who valued Booth's education. Enrolled at Michigan State University while playing for the school's hockey team, he studied dentistry before switching to general management.[2]

An avid hunter, Booth posted a YouTube video in May 2012 of him baiting and killing an American black bear. Though the practice is legal in Alberta, it is banned in 18 American states, as well as British Columbia, the Vancouver Canucks' province. Booth's actions were widely criticized among the public causing him to remove the video within days.[72]

Booth married model and former beauty queen from Tennessee Ashley Durham on June 14, 2014.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000–01 Detroit Compuware NAHL 42 17 13 30 44 2 1 0 1 2
2001–02 U.S. National Development Team USDP 52 16 9 25 23
2002–03 Michigan State University CCHA 39 17 19 36 53
2003–04 Michigan State University CCHA 30 8 10 18 30
2004–05 Michigan State University CCHA 29 7 9 16 30
2005–06 Michigan State University CCHA 36 13 22 35 50
2006–07 Rochester Americans AHL 25 7 7 14 26 6 0 2 2 4
2006–07 Florida Panthers NHL 48 3 7 10 12
2007–08 Florida Panthers NHL 73 22 18 40 26
2008–09 Florida Panthers NHL 72 31 29 60 38
2009–10 Florida Panthers NHL 28 8 8 16 23
2010–11 Florida Panthers NHL 82 23 17 40 26
2011–12 Florida Panthers NHL 6 0 1 1 2
2011–12 Vancouver Canucks NHL 56 16 13 29 32 5 0 1 1 0
2012–13 Vancouver Canucks NHL 12 1 2 3 4
2013–14 Vancouver Canucks NHL 66 9 10 19 18
2013–14 Utica Comets AHL 3 0 1 1 0
NHL totals 443 113 105 218 181 5 0 1 1 0

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2002 United States WJC18 Gold medal icon.svg 8 2 2 4 10
2004 United States WJC Gold medal icon.svg 6 0 1 1 2
2008 United States WC 6th 7 1 0 1 2
Junior totals 14 2 3 5 12
Senior totals 7 1 0 1 2

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
NAHL
All-Rookie Team 2000–01[3]
Rookie of the Year 2000–01[3]
CCHA
Michigan State Spartans Rookie of the Year 2002–03[5]
All-CCHA Rookie Team 2002-03[3]
Mason Cup (playoff championship; Michigan State Spartans) 2006[16]
Florida Panthers
Most Valuable Player 2008–09[33]
IIHF
World U18 gold medal 2002[2]
World U20 gold medal 2004[65]
Vancouver Canucks
Most Exciting Player 2011-12[73]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In this instance, "junior" refers to Booth's second college year, as opposed to the junior level of play for under-20 players.
  2. ^ The previous record was set by Bruce Rendall and Bill Shibicky versus the Ohio State Buckeyes on February 21, 1987).[11]
  3. ^ The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.[25]

References[edit]

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  48. ^ Hats Off
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