Monday, April 08, 2013

Absurd Goalie Monday: Rob Holland

As greatness retires, it's always big shoes to fill. This week's AGM is one guy who didn't get the chance to make his mark after a legendary goalie because he didn't develop fast enough in the minors. While he did make a name in the minors, his short time in the NHL is something he would probably want to actually make up for. This week, the profile of Rob Holland.

In the 1974-75 season, Holland started playing in Junior A with the Longueuil Lions; where he would play for 36 games. Moving up to the QMJHL's Montreal Juniors, Holland played 37 games in the 1975-76 season, finishing with a 17-16-2 record, then 2-4 in the playoffs. For the 1976-77 season, Holland stayed with the Juniors and went 17-21-3 in 45 games before going 4-7 in 13 playoff appearances.

The Montreal Canadiens selected Holland in the 4th Round of the 1977 Draft and for the 1977-78 season, placed him in the AHL with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, where Holland would finish with a 13-14-11 record, as well as finishing with a 2-3 playoff record. Back in Nova Scotia for the 1978-79 season, Holland played in 43 games and posted a 18-19-2 record, while losing his only playoff appearance. Holland and Maurice Barrett would share the Hap Holmes Award for fewest goals against in the AHL.

With Ken Dryden retiring, and Holland not progressing as the Canadiens had thought; the Habs sent Holland and Pat Hughes to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Denis Herron and a pick. For the 1979-80 season with the Penguins, Holland played in 34 games and finished with a 10-17-6 record. In the 1980-81 season, Holland bounced around-- playing for the Penguins for 10 games (1-5-3), then moved to the AHL with the Binghamton Whalers for seven games (1-4-0), and landed finally in the Central League with the Indianapolis Checkers for 15 games (6-6-2).

In the summer of 1981, the Penguins traded Holland's right to the New York Islanders, but Holland spent the 1981-82 season with the Indianapolis Checkers, playing in 30 games and compiling a 15-11-1 record, being a part of the Adams Cup winners with the Checkers, and sharing the Terry Sawchuk Trophy for fewest goals-against with Kelly Hrudey. Also in 1981-82, Holland spent seven games with the IHL's Toledo Goaldiggers. During the 1982-83 season, Holland returned to Indianapolis and played in 38 games; finishing with a 24-11-1, then 2-1 in the playoffs on his way to a second straight Adams Cup championship, as well as a second straight Terry Sawchuk Trophy with Hrudey.

Holland returned to Indianapolis in the 1983-84 season, but the record didn't go with him through history. However, as the Checkers moved to the IHL, Holland did too-- playing in 57 games during the 1984-85 season and sporting a 23-29-3 record. In the 1985-86 campaign, Holland played in 39 games for Indianapolis (conflicting records provided), as well as moving to the AHL's Springfield Indians for eight games and finished there with a 6-2-0 record.

Finally in the 1986-87 season, Holland moved to the Milwaukee Admirals of the IHL and played in 66 games in the regular season and six in the post-season. After that season, Holland would retire from hockey.

While he had the chance to follow in the footsteps of the legend, his team didn't believe in Holland's abilities to take over the workload. When he did get his chance, Holland wasn't on the right team with the support he could need. While he did gang-busters in the minors, he was never able to get back to the pinnacle of the NHL after his cup-of-coffee.

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