With his team coming off back-to-back shutout losses, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon decided it was time for a shakeup.
The Panthers sent left wing David Booth, center Steve Reinprecht and a third-round pick in 2013 to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday in exchange for veteran forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm.
"A lot of things come into play," Tallon said of the trade, which was announced a few minutes before the Panthers' home game against the New York Islanders and not long after the Canucks' 3-2 OT win against Minnesota in Vancouver. "We're in the performance business, and I was not happy with our team's performance, especially the last two games. I wasn't going to sit still and let this fester and I want to send a message and I want to make changes and I want to get better.
"We felt as far as an organization we get two top NHL players and it allows David to rekindle his career and go to a winning team in Vancouver and regain the touch that he had in previous years."
SOG: 14 | +/-: -6
The 6-foot, 212-pound winger was selected in the second round (No. 53) by the Panthers in the 2004 Entry Draft.
Booth, a Detroit native, was a member of the 2004 U.S. team that won the World Junior Championship team. His best season came in 2008-09, when he scored 31 goals. But he missed most of 2009-10 with a concussion after an open-ice hit by then-Philadelphia Flyers center Mike Richards.
"I think he's sad. It's not easy. I like him a lot, he's a great person," Tallon said. "Those are tough decisions you have to make. We have to move on. He's going to a great organization, a great team and has a good chance to help them get to where they want to go."
Booth and Vancouver center Ryan Kesler played together in minor hockey in the Detroit area.
"Ryan knows him very well. He's scored over 30 goals in the league before and he's 26 years old," Canucks GM Mike Gillis said. "We think if we can get him here and get him moving in the right direction he'll embrace it."
With Mason Raymond still sidelined with an injury sustained during the Stanley Cup Final, Booth figures to get plenty of time on one of Vancouver's top two lines. Tallon said he's not worried about whether Booth will get a jump-start from the trade.
"I don't know if he does or not," Tallon said, "but I felt that we had to make some changes here based on the performances in the last couple of games."
Booth has three seasons remaining after this one on a contract that pays $4.25 million per season, according to CapGeek.com.
Reinprecht, 35, was 4-6-10 in 29 games with Florida and 4-9-13 in 18 games for Adler Mannheim of the German Elite League in 2010-11. In 663 career NHL games Reinprecht has 140 goals, 382 points and 186 penalty minutes. The Edmonton native also has 10 goals and 20 points in 50 playoff games -- he was a member of the Colorado Avalanche team that won the Stanley Cup. Reinprecht was waived before the season and has been playing with San Antonio of the AHL.
Sturm, a 33-year-old native of Germany, was scoreless in six games with the Canucks this season. The seven-time 20-goal scorer signed with the Canucks during the summer after splitting last season between Los Angeles and Washington. He has 239 goals and 482 points in 896 career games.
Samuelsson, who turns 35 on Dec. 23, has 1 goal and 3 points in six games in 2011-12, his third season with the Canucks. He had 3 goals and 9 points in 37 games with the Panthers in 2003-04, then spent four seasons with Detroit and was a member of the Wings' 2008 Stanley Cup champions. He has 135 goals and 314 points in 621 regular-season games.
"They're two useful, NHL top-notch people that can play," Tallon said of Sturm and Samuelsson, both of whom are on the final year of their contracts. "They're solid defensively and offensively.
"Samuelsson won a Cup in Detroit and is coming off back-to-back 50-point seasons. He's a real useful player. He can play the point on the power play and has size and a big shot that we sorely need. Sturm gives us a player that can kill penalties. He's scored 20 or more goals seven times in his career, and it just gives us more options and more depth in the organization."
Gillis said Sturm and Samuelsson "were the players that Florida wanted."
"You have to work with the other side to try and come up with a match," he said. "We were looking to try to get a little bit younger and a little bit quicker."
NHL.com correspondent Alain Poupart contributed to this story.