David Booth, who scored a team-high 31 goals last season and had fans at BankAtlantic Center singing a chorus of ‘Booooooooth’ every time he touched the puck, signed a six-year deal Wednesday with the Panthers.
Booth, a native of Michigan, had 11 power play goals last season and five game-winners. The fan favorite has increased his offensive numbers every NHL season, going from three goals in 2006-07 to 22 in 2007-08 to his 31 last season.
“We are excited to have reached a contract agreement with David Booth,” Sexton said. “David is coming off a career best season and he is undoubtedly an important part of our club’s future. Since we drafted David in 2004, he has dedicated himself to improving his skill set each season. Through his hard work, commitment and passion for the game, he has become a role model for other players, as well as a fan favorite. He embodies every attribute of what a true Panthers player stands for and we look forward to his continued contributions within our organization for many years to come.”
“It’s a no-brainer to do what I did today,” Booth said. “I’m really pumped to be with the organization and that they feel the same way and want me there. It’s one of the best days of my life. Hopefully, have a good group of guys together and now we can make a run at the Stanley Cup.”
There’s a lot of good core players there. I think the organization is going in the right direction. We were so close last year and I think we’re only going to get better. It’s a good organization to be part of it and I’m already looking forward to next season.”
Booth became just the sixth player in franchise history to score at least 30 goals in one season. He also recorded a career-high and led the team with 246 shots on goal, as well as a career-best 11 power play goals. Booth also became just one of four Panthers players – Pavel Bure, Olli Jokinen and Ray Sheppard – to net two hat tricks in one season, with three-goal games versus St. Louis on March 7 and at Anaheim on Nov. 9. He also posted a career-high eight-game point scoring streak (6-7-13) from Dec. 27-Jan. 10 and notched a career high five points (2-3-5) in the Florida’s regular season finale 7-4 win over Washington on Apr. 11.
The Detroit, Mich., native has also been invited to attend the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Orientation Camp in August. On the international level, Booth has previously competed for Team USA at the World Championships (‘07,‘08), while also representing his native country at the 2003-04 World Junior Championships.
Booth has played in 193 career NHL games, all with Florida, scoring 56 goals with 54 assists and 76 PIM. He was originally drafted by Florida with its third choice (53rd overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
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