BOOTH INTERESTED IN PENGUINS?
David Booth’s agent Mike Luit has reached out to the Pittsburgh Penguins in recent weeks, Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned.
Booth who was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks last month, is looking for an opportunity on a one year deal and the right fit to enhance his value.
Booth, 29, had 9 goals and 19 points last season. He’s a speedy skater who is aggressive on the forecheck and is a former 30 goal scorer. He was a solid possession player this past season at 52%.
What’s intriguing with Booth is two members of the Penguins organization have a familiarity with Booth in assistant coach Jacques Martin and Director of Amateur Scouting Randy Sexton.
Martin was head coach of Florida Panthers in 2004 when the Panthers drafted Booth and Martin coached Booth for two NHL seasons. Booth had one of the best seasons of his career under Martin in 2007-2008 when he scored 22 goals.
Sexton was an assistant general manager and later general manager with the Panthers for a period from 2007-2010, and in 2008-2009, Booth posted a career high in goals (31) and points (60) with the Panthers
Concussion issues would soon play a big role in the regression of Booth’s career and he’s never been able to get back to being a 20+ goal a season scorer but like Steve Downie, he’s still at an age where there’s potential for a turnaround.
Sources say Pittsburgh’s focus is on finalizing deals with RFA’s Nick Spaling and Brandon Sutter before adding any more players on one-way contracts. Pittsburgh, though, hasn’t closed the door on Booth on a one year, low risk deal near the league minimum.
Notes: The Penguins are closing in on a new deal with Simon Despres…..Penguins Prospect camp gets underway today at 2:00 p.m. We’ll have full coverage of the camp all week and Dave Fryer will be leading our coverage on the site. There is a scrimmage free to the public on Saturday at 3:00 p.m…..Tony Granato has officially been hired by the Detroit Red Wings as assistant coach, signing a two year contract.