Taking Liberties With… Peter Holland
Position: Forward, Arizona Coyotes
Hometown: Toronto, Ont., Canada
Acquired: Traded from Toronto Maple Leafs for sixth-round pick in 2018 NHL Draft on Dec. 9, 2016
Drafted: Anaheim Ducks’ first-round pick (15th overall) in 2009 NHL Draft
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Peter Holland: Tough to boil down to one. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of great memories. Playing minor hockey in the Quebec Pee Wee Tournament stands out. I was a 12-year-old and we won it in front of about 13,000 people. That was pretty special. There are other moments, like representing my country in the World Under-18 Championship and winning a team gold medal. First-round draft pick was special and scoring my first NHL goal (Nov. 11, 2011 vs. Vancouver). These are all very special.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
PH: Probably playing for my hometown team, playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That was a dream come true for me.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
PH: My parents. They tie with coaches for No. 1. I am very thankful for the time they devoted driving me places and the amount of money they put into my development. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
PH: Have fun. I think the minor hockey leagues today are becoming too much like pro hockey and there are too many x’s and o’s. I remember I was younger and we would just go out there, play and let the better team win. Just have fun.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
PH: That’s easy – golf.
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
PH: I really don’t have any superstitions. I definitely have rituals, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say they are superstitions. If I don’t follow my ritual, it’s not going to throw me off or anything like that.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
PH: It’s pretty normal, honestly. I like the morning skate, and get my feet under me. Have chicken and pasta as my pre-game meal, have a nap and get the rink about two hours and 20 minutes before the game. Tape my stick at the same time, warm up, play a little soccer and get ready to play the game.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
PH: I went to a really great restaurant recently called Grass Roots Kitchen. I’m still new to the area.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
PH: My phone, that’s definitely the No. 1 essential. Make sure I have a tie for game day, and usually like a pair of sweat pants that I can change into during a leisure time.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
PH: Mats Sundin (with the Maple Leafs)
— Compiled by Mark Brown