Or will be, after sitting out a week.
Doctors will monitor Panthers forward David Booth carefully for the next few days after he survived a nasty blow to the head from Flyers captain Mike Richards Saturday night with only a concussion and cuts to the face:
It could have been so much worse for Booth, who lay motionless and completely unconscious on the ice before removal by stretcher to a night in hospital, and the severity of the blow makes one wonder if it shouldn't be so much worse for Richards, who faced only a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct. Head shots aren't illegal -- this is hockey, after all, a sport that actually gives an award to players for not dying -- but that didn't stop new Panthers GM Randy Sexton from speaking his mind.
"Those types of hits have no place in the game," he said, after viewing the replay.
Sexton's right, though for all the talk from the NHL about eliminating head shots they have yet to actually impliment any new rules. Booth was moving into the Flyers' zone, after a drop pass, and Richards skated in, left arm up, and caught Booth upside the head. If he wanted to simply seperate Booth from the puck, as he later claimed, there was plenty of body available. And if the head's worth protecting with a high sticking rule, how about a ban on direct shots to the noggin? We're looking at you, NHL!
At any rate, Booth will probably be better off without hockey for a week than the 2-7 Panthers will be without Booth. For once, blame someplace other than Canada. Blame Philly.