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Instant Analysis: Peter Holland is a smart depth addition for the Canadiens

A good AHL player who hasn’t reached his ceiling in the NHL, Peter Holland is a decent depth add.

Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Peter Holland signing a two-year deal is a typical Marc Bergevin deal: inexpensive and able to fill in the bottom six in a pinch for the Montreal Canadiens. He spent last year in both Toronto and the Arizona desert, where he was unimpressive in his 48 NHL games.

However, it’s hard to judge Holland based only on his time in Arizona alone, as the Coyotes were nothing short of a tire fire last season. With five goals and six assists in 40 games, he’s a decent depth option to play down the middle on the fourth line.

Compared to current fourth-line centre Torrey Mitchell, Holland stacks up fairly well in terms of statistics. He’s six years younger than Mitchell, and even though Mitchell’s deal is just $1.2 million dollars against the cap, Holland is still a cheaper option.

As a depth player he isn’t going to hurt the Habs, unless he’s forced to play over his head in a role he isn’t suited for. Given that both Phillip Danault and Tomas Plekanec are in Montreal, and with rumours of Drouin taking some draws, it’s unlikely Holland slots anywhere higher than the third line this year.

He’s got decent puck skills, and at least at the AHL level has shown good scoring ability, even if it hasn’t fully translated to the NHL level. He’s not likely going to be a gamebreaker for the Habs’ fourth line, but can chip in the odd goal which is a bonus for a line taking primarily defensive minutes.

With his addition it’s probable that players like Michael McCarron and Jacob de la Rose are going to start their years in Laval too. While McCarron has gotten a solid amount of NHL games in the past two years, he has yet to take that next major step forward in his development. Much like de la Rose, a full year in the AHL, while playing major minutes might help him round out and maximize his potential. It worked for de la Rose who had a career best season after being yo-yoed between leagues in his first two seasons.

It’s also entirely possible that Holland, alongside the newly re-signed Froese are going to join Chris Terry as the veterans in Laval as well. It’s the Rocket’s first year, and after several years without post-season appearances before finally making it last year, they’ll want to build on that modicum of success in their debut season.

In the AHL Holland has been a dominant force, with 124 points in 143 games. His presence would do well to ease the pressure on younger players like Nikita Scherbak or Daniel Audette.

This deal isn’t going to hurt the Habs in any way. Holland is younger than their previous fourth-line options, and is on a dirt-cheap deal. Add in that his first year is a two-way deal, it’s likely he could be here to bring a veteran presence to the Rocket. If he was signed to be more than a limited-minutes centre, then there might be issues. As it stands though, Holland is a prototypical Bergevin signing: low risk, moderate chance of a reward, and he isn’t actively going to hurt his team.