The Montreal Canadiens traded for the rights to Tri-City Americans forward Patrick Holland on Jan. 12. Saturday night, former Habs coach Jacques Martin was at Toyota Center to watch Holland play.
"I have not seen him play before," said Martin, who is responsible for special assignments for Montreal general manager Pierre Gauthier. "It's part of my new responsibilities to see him perform, especially since we just acquired him. Our scouts were high on him and this is a good opportunity to see where he is and evaluate his skill."
Holland, who had three assists against Spokane on Saturday, said Martin did not meet with him after the game.
Holland, a 2010 draft pick of Calgary, was traded to Montreal as part of a deal that saw Montreal send Michael Cammalleri, Karri Ramo and a fifth-round pick to the Flames in 2012 in exchange for forward Rene Bourque, Holland and a second-round pick in 2013.
When Holland was traded, he tweeted "Guess it's time to thank my parents for putting me in 9 years of French immersion. Hoping I can please the @CanadiensMTL fans someday."
"The (Montreal) fans are so passionate, and it's nice when the players can communicate in their language," said Martin, who was fired Dec. 17 after his team went 13-12-7 in the first 32 games of the season.
Martin coached the Canadiens for two-plus seasons, and worked closely with former Tri-City goaltender Carey Price.
"Carey has had great success early in his career," Martin said. "When I came to Montreal, he was a kid who had success with Team Canada, won the Calder Cup in his first year and made it to the NHL pretty quick. It's a good indicator of his compete level. The last couple of years he has matured and become a dominant goalie."