David Brine grew up in Nova Scotia, dreaming of playing junior hockey for the nearby Halifax Mooseheads and in the National Hockey League.
He did achieve both of those things. But young David could never have dreamed up where else hockey would take him.
Brine played three seasons in the QMJHL, all with Halifax. By his final season he was a 100 point scorer. But he was always more about doing the small things to win hockey games. Faceoffs. Penalty Kills. Chipping pucks out. Getting pucks in deep. Line change.
That final season with Halifax he won the Guy Carbonneau award as the top defensive forward in the entire QMHL in the 2005-06 season.
Despite this, Brine was never drafted. Undeterred, Brine kept his sights on the NHL. But his route was one of the most unconventional yet.
Brine ended up on the reality television show Making The Cut, where fringe hockey players were filmed in a special training camp hoping to make it to the big leagues. Brine did not win the contest, but he impressed Mike Keenan along the way. He was brought to the Florida Panthers camp and eventually signed.
Brine ended up playing nine games with Keenan's Panthers in the 2006-07 season, picking up one assist. He never returned. But he turned his television experience into a professional career that included five seasons in the American Hockey League, mostly with the Rochester Americans.
In 2011-12 Brine extended his career with several seasons travelling across Europe and even Asia, briefly. He even secured a Croatian passport and was captain of the Croatian national team.
What kid from Nova Scotia doesn't grow up dreaming of that?