David Booth has spent the last two years playing in the KHL, stewing overseas in Russia. When it comes to NHL return, one doesn't have to wait for Booth to articulate his excitement with words; it comes across in the huge grin on his face, and the perkiness in his eyes.

“Oh man, it’s an understatement. It’s really something very special," said Booth, who recently signed a one-year, two-way deal with his hometown Red Wings. "Feels like I’m 21 again, when I first played a NHL game.”

Born and raised in Detroit, as a youngster, Booth attended Red Wings games regularly at Joe Louis Arena. Suiting up Oct. 5 as a 32-year-old in his club’s inaugural contest at Little Caesar’s Arena culminated a life-long dream.

After a litany of injury-plagued seasons, a buy-out by Canucks, two failed professional try-outs (2015 with the Panthers, and 2016 with Ducks), Booth’s accomplishment is one the Panthers 2004 second-round selection can truly be proud of.