Sometimes revisionist history can be tantalizing, and sometimes it can be frightening.

With the Ducks on the verge of clinching a playoff spot — that 4-3 loss to Dallas on Sunday night kept them from popping the corks — does anybody wonder where the team would be this season without leading scorer Corey Perry?

Or what would have happened to the franchise in the past six seasons if the Ducks had traded Perry, then a minor league prospect, during the 2003-04 NHL season?

It almost happened in December 2003, when word leaked out of Edmonton that the Oilers were close to trading center Mike Comrie to the Ducks for Perry, a 2003 first-round pick playing for London in the Ontario Hockey League, and the team's first-round pick in 2004.

Comrie was holding out at the time, so the Oilers insisted he repay $2.5 million that was part of his original signing bonus for the deal to go through. When that didn't happen, the trade fell through. Comrie was later traded to Philadelphia.

That proved to be a fortuitous stroke of luck for the Ducks, for several reasons:

•The Ducks drafted defenseman Ladislav Smid in the first round in 2004, the pick that almost went to Edmonton a few months earlier in the Comrie trade.

Smid was a key player in the July 2006 trade with Edmonton that brought defenseman Chris Pronger to Anaheim, a player without whom the Ducks likely would not have won the Stanley Cup in 2007.