Through its lockout and subsequently delayed start to the 2012-13 season, the NHL has underscored the different-as-snowflake status of its players. Some of those who scattered to other leagues and returned when summoned in mid-January have either excelled beyond expectations or slumped in one or more of their trademark talents through the halfway mark of their 48-game schedule.
Some were injured before 2011-12 ended or otherwise figuratively ailing in their performance and wisely used the extension of the offseason to replenish their game elsewhere. Others may now be looking through unpleasant 20/20 hindsight as they battle an uncharacteristic lull in their reverse transition back to the NHL.
Here is a selective, mixed bag of four players who are justifying their decisions to seek alternative on-ice employment and four others who probably should have put their lockout time to different use.