David McNab was with the Ducks when they first unboxed the pucks.
He has been in the sanctum for nearly every decision, including the No. 5 pick of the 1998 NHL draft.
When he finally saw Bryan Allen the other day, assistant general manager McNab told him, "If we'd have lost one more game in '98, you would have been here."
The Ducks needed a heavy-lifting, shot-blocking, occasionally fire-breathing defenseman. They were looking at Allen, but he went to Vancouver at No. 4.
So the Ducks took Vitaly Vishnevski, who gave the Ducks four menacing, productive years and now is back in Russia, playing for St. Petersburg.
Allen made his way from Vancouver to Florida to Carolina, clearing out space in the slot, moving the puck off the doorstep, transmitting the proper vibe.
"He's going to get in the way," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau.