Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin still had four years left in his AFL playing career when the Demons last beat North Melbourne.
Saturday's clash at the MCG is massive for Melbourne, given their 17-game losing streak to the Kangaroos.
They have not beaten North since round 20, 2006 - coincidentally the last season the Demons made the finals.
It's understood Melbourne co-captain Nathan Jones and Collingwood's Daniel Wells are the only current players who were on AFL lists when that occurred.
Beating North would make this a symbolic week for the Demons, on and off the field.
On Wednesday, they announced they were taking the major step to cut ties with pokies revenue.
In that media conference, chief executive Peter Jackson also said they hope to make a decision this year on a training and administration facility for Melbourne - something they haven't had since 1980.
"There's a lot going on at the club that's positive," Goodwin said.
"As we start to grow as footy club off the field, we're also growing on the field.
"It's been a while; 17 is a long time.
"We want to see that changed, we want to change the narrative of that."
Another sign of change at Melbourne is growing selection pressure.
The latest victim is speedy defender Jayden Hunt, who is a surprise omission for the North match.
Sam Frost will take his place giving the Demons more height in defence to combat Ben Brown and Jarrad Waite, who have given them problems.
Goodwin would not go into detail about why Hunt was dropped but said he had lacked consistency over the past month.
"Jayden is certainly someone we value incredibly highly, he certainly brings something to the team we love," Goodwin said.
"He probably hasn't been at his best just yet, but we don't think it's that far away as well.
"For a long time at Melbourne, we've probably been in a position where we've had to give away games.
"We've now created some depth; depth of performance around what's required to be in the team."
Dean Kent returns to the side and Goodwin said his VFL form demanded a recall.