It was tough not to feel for Marty Reasoner last season.
He literally bled for the Edmonton Oilers. And then when the going got good, he was traded.
The Oilers forward was genuinely upset when he was sent to the Boston Bruins in the Sergei Samsonov deal at the trade deadline.
He had only recently returned to the lineup after suffering a bruised lung and needed 30 stitches in his right ear after taking a Chris Pronger slap shot in the head.
Reasoner had been part of the Oilers organization since 2001, but had to stand back and watch as his former teammates made it to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
"It was tough to leave," Reasoner said. "Having been here for five years, (my family) was in a situation where we felt really comfortable, we had met a lot of good people, made good friends and I was close with a lot of guys on the team.
"As far as the run goes, you separate yourself from it a little bit. I was obviously excited for the guys. Being with them for three quarters of the year I knew how hard the guys had worked and how close the team knew they were to taking that step."
Reasoner didn't take part in the playoffs last year. The Bruins finished last in their division and failed to qualify for the post-season. In 19 games with the Bruins, the native of Honeoye Falls, New York, scored two goals and added six assists.
This summer Reasoner signed a two-year deal to return to Edmonton.
"Given the opportunity to come back I jumped on it right away," Reasoner said.
"It's definitely exciting. I'm excited about the future here. We're definitely putting a good team together and I think that the attitude here is a little different, where maybe in the past we were just hoping to make the playoffs."
It was during those sneak-into-the-playoffs, lose-in-the-first-round years that Reasoner was a steady figure in the Oilers lineup.
Then when the team was primed to make a run, he was traded away so the Oilers could obtain the services of the offensively talented Samsonov.
The reshuffling of the Oilers roster in the off-season has Reasoner back in the mix.
Now it's just a matter of seeing where he fits in with the new-look Oilers.
"Marty is guy that you can use in every situation," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.
"He's going to be a penalty killer and at times he's going to play on the power play - he's exhibited ability there.
"He can defend very well and he's good in the faceoff circle.
"He's a very reliable, very complete, very versatile player."
Knowing what Reasoner brings to the table is the reason the Oilers were willing to bring him back.
Offensively, the six-foot-one, 200-pound centre never put up big numbers in his first stint with the Oilers. But his ability to play in all situations made him a valuable commodity.
"I saw first-hand how much we missed him last year at times," MacTavish said.
"We really missed his versatility. It's really good to have a guy that can play 10 to 15 minutes and possibly 17 minutes a night."