It can be a tired cliché sometimes.
Player XXX is playing against his former team tonight, so he must really be motivated now. You know, he wants to show his former team they made a mistake for parting ways with him. He wants to have bragging rights with his former buddies.
For the Golden Knights, who had the chance to acquire at least one player from every other NHL team during the Expansion Draft, having players face their former squads is pretty much and every game occurrence. Tonight, it's David Perron, who spent seven seasons during two separate stints with the Blues, scoring 102 goals for St. Louis.
Video: Facing his former team will be special for Perron
We asked Perron this morning what players think of when facing their former teams. He said for him, it's as much the memories and life milestones he achieved in St. Louis, perhaps even more than trying to show the Blues that they shouldn't have left him available for Vegas.
Perron first arrived in St. Louis as a 19-year-old rookie in 2007, barely speaking English.
"I got there, the downtown and there's not much going on compared to other (NHL) cities," Perron said. "It's more outside. You get to know the outside of the city, the suburbs. Where to go.
"I opened my first bank account there. Every small thing you do as a teenager and in life, I did there. I got my social security number, my first car, that I got myself and without my parents.
"I rented a GMC Denali. It was a big car. I was talking with my agent about what car I should get because I want to be safe on the road. Lot of space. Like everything about that car."
As Perron spoke, he clearly was picturing each of these memories. Of the times he spent living in suburban Clayton, Missouri, of teammates, of playoff runs.
For players, these sorts of milestones are as much part of their lives, who they identify as, as it is about winning or losing a single game on any given night.
That being said, Perron admitted that as sweet as his memories in St. Louis are, playing the Blues does carry a little extra juice.
"I think tonight will be a different one," Perron said. "I think everyone here has a chip on our shoulders. When we play our old team, we want to show everyone in the room we're up for the game, but also the management."