Andy Webster and Rudi Skacel both left Tynecastle under a cloud first time around only to later re-sign. Yesterday, Ryan Stevenson did the same.
The midfielder left for Ipswich Town in January, having refused to take the field during a period when the players' wages were repeatedly paid late. The manner of his departure, and subsequent dig at things behind the scenes at Tynecastle, seemed to have ensured he had played his last game for Hearts.
However, now he is back, having signed a three-year deal, with Ipswich waiving a fee for the player they paid £50,000 for at the beginning of the year. "I'm excited at the prospect of returning to the club," Stevenson said. "Naturally, the circumstances of my departure might have made this move seem unlikely but I want to assure everyone I am only focused on playing and winning with Hearts. I am delighted to be here."
John McGlynn worked with the 28-year-old when the player's career was in its infancy. The manager said: "He did very well for Hearts when he was here before and it wasn't a great situation at that time, to be fair. He stood up for himself and others. If you weren't getting paid you might have the same reaction to a certain extent. It's one we put behind us and are looking for Ryan to come in and do a job. If he does that the past will be quickly forgotten.
"He's very versatile, which is a big help. I knew Ryan as a boy when he was at Hearts before he went to Chelsea and, when he was at Ayr, I was at Raith Rovers so I came across him on a number of occasions. He was always a player you wanted to make sure was marked. He's technically a good player, he scores goals, he's strong and he's good in the dressing room so he ticks all the boxes for me."
McGlynn must now focus on ensuring his players are focused on tomorrow's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game at home to Dundee, following the midweek Europa League qualifier at Anfield when his players came within minutes of taking their tie with Liverpool to extra time.
"There's no doubt the first game against Liverpool had an effect on our players," McGlynn said. "Last Sunday we found it difficult against Aberdeen, although they played particularly well. History will tell you that teams generally struggle after European ties. But the fact we are at home this weekend should be a big factor. It's not like travelling up to Aberdeen or staying overnight.
"The players are at home in their own beds and that should help in their recovery. Hopefully the fans will come out and support us on the back of the two performances against Liverpool. Tynecastle can be quiet at times but on this occasion we hope they really get behind the team and show their appreciation for what they've done."
Hearts threw several young players into the fray on Merseyside and McGlynn hopes the experience will serve them well going forward. "You can only learn from sharing a pitch with guys like Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard," he said. "Hopefully the young players will take great heart from operating on that stage. They've played in a game that was shown worldwide. They have to keep their feet on the ground but also recognise they played their part in a massive game."
For the visitors, it is a Scottish Communities League Cup exit at the hands of third division Queen's Park that needs to be put to the back of the mind as their continue their quest for a first league win. Barry Smith, the Dundee manager, said: "It's gone now and all we can do is look to the Hearts game to try to put things right. We were all very disappointed but we have to move on and try to make amends.
"It's been a pretty tough start to the season – we always knew that it would be – but we'll still go to Tynecastle to try to get a result. The boys are hurting and you always look to the next game to try to take out your frustration. Hearts are a good side with lots of quality players, but we'll be focusing on ourselves and what we hope to do."
Dundee continue to be badly hit by injuries but Smith said: "It's part and parcel of football, although our list is pretty sizeable just now. We have a lot of guys who won't make it but that's just something we have to handle as best we can.
"What I do know is that whoever comes in and takes their places will give me 100% commitment. They're an honest bunch of boys so effort is never a problem. We hope to rise in face of adversity and, no matter how bad our injury problems are at the moment, we still go to Hearts and try to get the three points."