Say this about David Booth — he’s not lacking confidence.
The soon-to-be-31-year-old, who on Wednesday was released from his PTO with Florida, insisted that he’s more than capable of playing at the NHL level.
“I feel I’m still a great player,” he said, per the Miami Herald. “This place felt comfortable and like a place I could do some of the things I’ve done before.
“But this is a business, and sometimes you’re just a number.”
Getting cut wasn’t the storybook ending Booth envisioned upon arriving in Florida.
The best moments of his career came with the Panthers, from getting picked 53rd overall at the ’04 draft, to making his NHL debut, to scoring a career-high 31 goals in ’08-09.
Panthers GM Dale Tallon said Booth was essentially competing with another veteran on a PTO — Martin Halvat — and promising youngster Connor Brickely. Both Havlat and Brickley remain in camp, and Tallon went on to explain it was “hard to fit” Booth into a roster spot.
Really, none of this came as a major surprise.
Booth’s last two seasons, in Vancouver and Toronto, weren’t especially compelling; he scored just 16 goals in 125 games and, with the Leafs last year, averaged only 11:56 TOI per night.
It’s also worth noting that, league-wide, several veterans that went to camps on PTOs left without contracts: Curtis Glencross, Devin Setoguchi, Dan Paille, Jan Hejda, Andrej Meszaros, Corey Potter, Lubomir Visnovsky and Tom Sestito, to name a few.
Booth went on to say he “believes he’s better than” taking an AHL gig.