It's as bittersweet as it gets for Gilbert Brule.
He struggles for years to get a foothold in the NHL, through two lean seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, through two more seasons in the minors, and when he finally does ...
One of the worst Oilers seasons ever.
One hand, he's thrilled to finally be in the league. On the other hand, it's killing him to see the team struggle like this.
"I'm happy to be a regular in the lineup right now, I'm happy to be playing on this team," said Brule, selected sixth overall by the Blue Jackets in 2005. "I want to do everything I can to help us win."
He's Edmonton's second-leading goal scorer with 11, but it's kind of like getting a hat trick in a loss.
"If I am playing well and we're not winning it's just not the same," he said. "I'd rather us be winning and me just scoring the odd goal here and there."
Brule has taken considerable strides to resurrect his career after being rushed into things in Columbus, but he says he has to pick his game up even more to help change the direction of this ship.
"I think everyone has a little more to give, including myself. We have a lot of games to grow here and a lot of little things we can work on and get better at."
And who knows, one day it might all come together at the same time: good season on a good team.
"I hope it's this team," he said, "I hope to be on this team for a while and we put a team together than can go to the playoffs and do some damage."