<span class="vcard">Mike Halford</span>

David Booth

Home again: Florida signs Booth to PTO


David Booth is headed back to the place of his greatest NHL success.

On Wednesday, Florida announced it was bringing Booth to training camp on a PTO, marking the return of the veteran forward that scored a career-best 31 goals for the Panthers in 2008-09.

The 30-year-old winger was drafted by Florida and spent the first six years of his career with the club. His emotional ties to the franchise ran deep; upon learning of his trade to Vancouver in 2011, Booth reportedly “broke down in tears.”

Wonder how he’ll react to the PTO.

Chances are Booth will be happy to return to a happy place, as his career has steadily declined since leaving South Florida. Health issues and diminishing foot speed have seen him score just 17 goals over his last 137 games, split between Vancouver and Toronto.

He also averaged just 11:56 TOI with the Leafs last year, his lowest total since his rookie year.

Isles invite Bernier to training camp

Jonathan Bernier; Steve Bernier

One of the best seasons of Steve Bernier’s 10-year career has netted him… a training camp tryout.

On Wednesday, Newsday reported the Isles were bringing Bernier to their training camp on a PTO. The invite comes after the 30-year-old matched career highs in goals (16) and points (32) with the Devils last season, his fourth with the organization.

The Bernier move is, as many have pointed out, probably an insurance policy should the Isles not reach an agreement with still-unsigned RFA winger Brock Nelson:

The Bernier move also reflects the current landscape for veteran players struggling to find jobs. He’s the third vet signed on to compete at Isles camp, along with Eric Boulton and Matt Carkner.

Elsewhere, the likes of Scott Gomez, Scottie Upshall, Curtis Glencross, Ryan Wilson, Jonas Gustavsson, James Sheppard, Devin Steoguchi, Peter Budaj, Ray Emery and Sergei Gonchar have all agreed to PTOs with various teams, in the hope of landing another contract.

Report: Glencross to Leafs camp on PTO

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Five

Veteran winger Curtis Glencross has received a training camp tryout — but it’s not with the team some expected.

Per Toronto’s Fan 590 radio, the Leafs have signed Glencross to a PTO. The news comes just days after the 32-year-old was rumored to be on his way to Colorado’s camp, where he would’ve been reunited with ex-Calgary teammates Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay.

That Toronto’s taking a flier on Glencross shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as the club has a history of bringing in veteran forwards on PTOs.

Two years ago, Mason Raymond went to Leafs camp on a tryout and eventually made the team; last month, the Leafs announced they were bringing journeyman winger Devin Setoguchi to this year’s camp.

A two-time 20-goal scorer, Glencross has a very small connection to new Toronto bench boss Mike Babcock, as he broke in with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate — then in Cincinnati — during Babcock’s final year as Ducks head coach.

Prior to taking the Ducks gig, Babcock was the bench boss in Cincy.

Report: Voynov facing deportation


The latest on the status of L.A. Kings defenseman Slava Voynov, from Russian news agency TASS:

US Immigration & Customs Enforcement Western Region Communications Director Virginia Kice told TASS that ICE’s decision to take Voynov into custody and place him in removal proceedings was based on “a comprehensive review of the case.”

“As with anyone who’s facing deportation, he’ll be afforded due process and the immigration court will ultimately determine whether he’ll be subject to removal from the U.S.,” she said.

An ICE official, who asked not to be identified, told TASS that ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations has declined to set a bond in Voynov’s case “given his prior conviction for a crime of violence.”

Last week, ICE moved Voynov from the Seal Beach Detention Center — where he served a three-month sentence for domestic violence — to an unspecified detention facility.

Prior to being detained, Voynov’s future with both the Kings and in the NHL was cloudy at best — so it’s extremely difficult to  envision where things go from here.

He remains under indefinite suspension by the league, and suspended without pay by L.A. (due to an Achilles injury suffered during non-hockey activities this past June.)

Southampton chairman Krueger to coach Team Europe at World Cup

Southampton v Bayer Leverkusen - Pre Season Friendly
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Team Europe — a squad comprised of players from European countries outside of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden — has announced that former Edmonton bench boss Ralph Krueger, currently the boss at Barclays Premier League outfit Southampton, will be its head coach at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Krueger, 56, comes to the job with a wide and colorful resume. The former head coach of the Swiss National team, he spent one year behind the Oilers’ bench — during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign — before getting fired, which led to an interesting career change.

In February of 2014, Krueger was named club director at Southampton and, a short while later, was promoted to chairman. The club has achieved great success on his watch; last year, the Saints finished seventh in the BPL, its highest-ever Premier League rank, and qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

This isn’t to say, however, that Krueger has lost touch with his hockey roots — while at Southampton, he captured an Olympic gold medal as a consultant for Team Canada in Sochi.

Aiding Krueger at the World Cup will be longtime NHLer Miroslav Satan, who will serve as Team Europe GM. German Ice Hockey Federation president Franz Reindl will act as team president.