If the Anaheim Ducks had gotten their way, Ondrej Kase wouldn't be a member of the Boston Bruins right now.
The Bruins sent veteran forward David Backes, prospect Axel Andersson and a 2020 first-round draft pick to the Ducks on Friday in return for Kase, a 24-year-old winger with 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) on the season.
As The Athletic's Eric Stephens pointed out Friday, however, Anaheim tried to trade Kase to another Eastern Conference club back in September.
In fact, the cellar-dwelling Ducks had a deal in place with the Hurricanes that would have sent Kase to Carolina in return for defenseman Justin Faulk.
But the deal fell through -- because Anaheim was on Faulk's no-trade list. Days later, the 'Canes dealt Faulk to the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, who promptly signed him to a seven-year extension.
As Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register wrote at the time, Faulk would have waived his no-trade clause to join the Ducks (which would have sent Kase to Carolina) but couldn't agree to terms with Anaheim.
"It’s believed the Ducks had offered Faulk a six-year extension with an average annual value of $6.5 million, but that he wanted seven years and an AAV of $7 million in order to waive his no-trade clause and come to Anaheim," Teaford wrote.
Thanks to that small difference, Kase stayed in Anaheim, and is now headed to Boston as a potential solid contributor for a Stanley Cup contender.
The NHL world works in mysterious ways.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of the NHL trade deadline. This Monday at 2:30 p.m., stream the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline Show on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBoston.com.