Jeff Carter and Mike Richards liked to party a little too much for the Philadelphia Flyers' liking.
Dustin Penner was roundly vilified for his performance after being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers. That was before he injured his back while eating his wife's "delicious pancakes."
Drew Doughty was mired in a contract dispute last fall and missed training camp.
Willie Mitchell, not that long ago, looked like he might never play again after a serious concussion.
Dustin Brown almost got traded and/or stripped of the captaincy at the trade deadline, depending on who you believe.
Carter, just to refresh your memory a little more, was a cancer in Columbus.
A bunch of teams passed on Anze Kopitar in the draft because there had never been a Slovenian in the NHL.
That same year, 2005, Jonathan Quick was the eighth goalie selected, in the third round.
Darryl Sutter, by his own admission, was shovelling s*** on his farm in Alberta when he got the call a few short months ago.
Dean Lombardi? He was too patient. They said he'd never win a Cup if he didn't make a splash.
Does rescuing Richards and eventually Carter from the Dry Island qualify as a splash?
Ladies and gents, your 2011-12 Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings.
The eighth-seeded Kings. The deceptive underdogs who couldn't score to save their lives all year, but managed to do what Gretzky, Robitaille, Kurri and Blake couldn't do in 1993.
The team that stole our hearts with its edgy Twitter account, that had to put up with incompetent Los Angeles media outlets that mixed them up with every team in the city, and in the process ripped through to the Stanley Cup final while losing only two games.
It's the stuff of video games, really. Where you pick a bad team, knock off all the contenders and win the Cup without breaking a sweat, then you decide that you better change the difficulty level next time.
There's nothing like watching a franchise win its first Stanley Cup, and there certainly is nothing like seeing the families who have made so many sacrifices over the years on the ice in the midst of the celebration. Kudos to CBC for capturing those moments.
For my money, the best moment of the night might have been seeing Lucky Luc, who had pit stops elsewhere but always found himself returning to where his heart was, finally lift that silver cup as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
Josh Lewis can be reached by phone at 634-2654, by e-mail at spo...@estevanmercury.ca, on Twitter at twitter.com/joshlewis306, or on his Bruins Banter blog at estevanmercury.ca/bruinsbanter. No matter how much his co-workers ridicule him, he is proudly watching every game of Euro 2012.