The Montreal Canadiens will be facing some major adversity over the next little while, as the amount of players out with injuries keeps piling up. The latest name added to the growing list is Brandon Prust, who is out four weeks with a right shoulder injury.
The positive thing that comes when dealing with injuries is that it now opens the door to new players to prove themselves and that is exactly what Patrick Holland is hoping to do.
Holland, along with Michael Blunden, were recalled from Hamilton and joined the group at practice today. Tomorrow night, Holland will make his regular season NHL debut against the Edmonton Oilers.
"Growing up I wanted to be Jerry Seinfeld, but becoming a professional hockey player is a pretty awesome alternative" Holland said with a big smile on his face.
The 21-year-old forward from Lethbridge, Alberta has a great sense of humour, and made quite a few media members crack up with his one-liners today. He was drafted 193 overall in the 2010 by the Calgary Flames.
Holland joined the Canadiens as part of that unusual Mike Cammalleri trade which was made mid-game against the Boston Bruins in 2012. At that time, Holland, playing in the WHL for the Tri-City Americans, was in Vancouver as Tri-City was preparing to play the Vancouver Giants the following night. Oddly enough he just so happened to be watching the Habs-Bruins game in his hotel room. When he was on his way to the team dinner it was announced that Cammalleri was traded to the Calgary Flames, but did not say for who.
"When I got to the restaurant my teammates and I were all talking about the trade and I joked that I was part of it. Maybe five or 10 minutes after I made that joke, my phone rang and I saw it was the Calgary Flames calling" he said. It was Jay Feaster, the general manager of the Flames, calling to tell him he had been traded to Montreal.
Holland, who turned pro last season, has been enjoying his time with the Canadiens organization.
"I feel very comfortable here, I know a lot of these guys from playing in Hamilton and from training camp a few weeks ago" Holland said on the eve of his NHL debut.
Brendan Gallagher is one of those players he knows well. He lived with him, along with prospect Morgan Ellis, in Hamilton for the first half of the season last year.
Growing up, Holland was a fan of the Edmonton Oilers and his favorite player was Ales Hemsky.
"It will be a very cool experience getting to play against him tomorrow" Holland said.
Unfortunately, his parents will not be able to make it to Montreal for tomorrow's game, but he will have his cousin, who attends Queens University in Kingston come to town to see him play.