The common threads among the following players is that they've all recently worn the uniform of the Florida Panthers; all are solid NHL veterans; all were not part of GM Dale Tallon's rebuilding project, and most significant; all can use a change of luck.
Booth had it all going right. In 2008-09 he had a career-high 31 goals and was rewarded with a six-year $25.5M contract.
Things went downhill from there. Early in the 2009-10 season, the injury-prone Booth suffered a concussion after the infamous blindside hit by the Flyers' Mike Richards. He returned 45 games later, only to suffer a season-ending second concussion.
The following season he registered 23 goals, but in 2011-12 he fell into Tallon's doghouse. After only six games (one assist and a -6 plus/minus) he was traded to Vancouver.
A succession of injuries limited his playing time (only 12 games in 2012-13). This year his production has been but one goal. New Canucks' coach John Tortorella has made him a frequent healthy scratch.
At $4M plus a year he will be tough to trade but he clearly can use a change of scenery and a confidence booster.
The Panthers never made the playoffs during Vokoun's four seasons, but as a workhorse goalie, he kept them in a lot of games, which the Cats' porous defense might have given away. Win or lose, he was always a willing and insightful interview.
After the 2010-11 season, Vokoun decided to test free agency but ran in to an abundance of available goalies. After rejecting Tallon's multi-year offer he ended up accepting a bargain level one-year deal in Washington. The season with the Caps was a personal disaster with injuries shortening the season and eliminating him from playoff competition. At season's end Washington traded his rights to Pittsburgh where he thrived for a year as a capable backup to Marc-Andre Fleury.
Unfortunately, during this season's training camp he was diagnosed with a blood clot in the pelvic area, which required an emergency procedure to dissolve it, putting his entire career on hold. Right now there is no timetable to return but he and the Pens are optimistically looking towards the end of December.
At age 36 Dvorak is in the twilight of a respectable career. In two hitches with Florida he became the team's all time leader in games played with 613, a mark since eclipsed by Stephen Weiss. As a rookie in 1995-96 he was part of the Cats' historic run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
When the rebuilding began he was traded to Atlanta at the deadline in 2010-11. Then there was a one-year free agent deal in Dallas and a late season lockout year appearance in Anaheim. This year the still speedy Dvorak stuck with Carolina on a two-way contract after a training camp invite. As a third line winger and penalty killer he managed three goals so far, two game winners, while missing time due to a lower body injury.
Always the consummate pro, it would be nice to see him wind down in style.
It took Weiss eight years to finally see playoff action with the Panthers. He enjoyed four 20-goal seasons before a slumping and injury riddled lockout year, which ended early due to wrist surgery. Weiss became expendable with the vast stockpile of high draft picks in the Florida system. Detroit took a calculated risk by signing the veteran center to a $24.5M five-year deal.
For Weiss, the possibility of playing with stars like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg was intriguing. He and Daniel Alfredsson joined the Wings the same day.
This season has been a struggle. He has two goals in 17 games. Coach Mike Babcock reduced his ice time before Weiss went down with a groin injury. The slumping Wings need his productivity.
Horton was productive in Florida but never quite reached his potential although he produced 20 or more goals in each of his five seasons. He was the frequent subject of trade rumors, partly because of his relationship with former coach Peter DeBoer who expected more of him.
Horton requested a trade when Dale Tallon arrived. In Boston he had productivity and a Stanley Cup, although he was out with a concussion when the B's captured the hardware in 2010-11. In earlier rounds he netted three game winning goals. The following season he suffered another concussion, which cost him the second half of the season and the playoffs.
After the lockout season he became a free agent and signed a $37M seven-year deal with Columbus. He has yet to play a game with the Jackets, while rehabbing from off-season shoulder surgery.