George 'Bud' Holloway was a relatively unknown name in the hockey world, especially considering his skill set.
The Wapella, Saskatchewan native was originally a Los Angeles Kings draft pick in 2006. Even though he produced a solid season with the AHL's Manchester Monarchs in 2010-11, collecting 61 points, the forward couldn't come to terms with the Kings. He packed his bags for Europe once his entry-level contract ran out.
After spending three very successful seasons is Sweden, Holloway found himself with Bern in the Swiss-A league during the 2014-15 campaign. He enjoyed successful season there, and decided to come back to North America to take another shot at his dream, playing in the NHL.
On July 1, 2015, the Montreal Canadiens signed Holloway to a one-year, two-way contract.
Although some expected Holloway to be the 13th forward out of training camp, the 27-year old was assigned to the St. John's IceCaps of the AHL to begin the season.
It didn't take long for Holloway to re-adjust to the North American game. Through the first 20 games of the season, he tallied 20 points. The Sven Andrighetto, Charles Hudon, Holloway line found instant chemistry, forcing the Canadiens brass to take notice, and they did.
Holloway received a call-up on November 20th, and made his NHL debut against the New Jersey Devils seven days later. That would be the only game he would play with the Habs. Although his NHL career only lasted seven minutes, Holloway could at least say he experienced NHL action.
Many fans expected to see Holloway get another chance in Montreal, especially considering how injury-bitten the big club was. But, as the season started to unravel in Montreal, Marc Bergevin elected to give his young prospects a chance instead.
Although the likelihood of another call-up decreased as the season went on, Holloway didn't stop producing. The veteran forward was a leader, on, and off the ice, on an extremely young IceCaps team. Without a doubt, he was the most consistent and reliable player on 'the rock' this season, even though he was misused organizationally, and with the IceCaps.
Towards the end of the season, to the surprise of many, Holloway was placed on the third line . He often played with recently signed players, and was slotted alongside two junior call-ups, in Jeremiah Addison and Daniel Audette, for the last six games.
Holloway finished the season with 19 goals, good for second on the IceCaps (Charles Hudon had 28). He led the team in assists, with 42, and points, with 61.
His 61 points also broke the IceCaps franchise record for single-season points, which was previously held by Jason Jaffray, at 59. Holloway finished 8th in AHL scoring, making him the only IceCap to appear in the top 30. While he was on the ice, St.John's controlled 58% of the goals.
Holloway is, once again a free agent, following the IceCaps failure to make the playoffs. The now 28 year-old has said he has no plans for next season, and is going to wait and see what happens on July 1.
Don't expect to see Holloway back with the Montreal Canadiens organization. A combination of his lack of opportunity, and his strong season with the IceCaps, likely means that he will offered an NHL contract elsewhere. But don't rule out a return overseas, as his wife Harley is from London, and he speaks very highly of his time there.
Holloway may not be remembered for his fantastic AHL season, but hockey fans around the world will never forget the best empty-net save of all time.