Taking Liberties With… Nick Holden
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Defenseman, Colorado Avalanche
Hometown: St. Albert, Alberta
Last Amateur Team: Chilliwack Bruins (WHL)
Colorado Rubber: What’s the best piece of advice you have for youth hockey players and parents?
Nick Holden: Make sure you’re always having fun. Control what you can control; don’t worry about ice time or any outside factors. Make sure you’re always having fun, because it’s just a game.
CR: What’s your favorite sport to play outside of hockey?
CR: What’s your game-day routine, and go-to pregame meal?
NH: Nothing special. I’ll eat steak and rice and a salad (for lunch), have a two-hour nap, then eat a peanut butter sandwich and an apple, then head to the rink.
CR: What’s your best hockey memory before playing in the NHL?
NH: Probably getting called up to play in the Royal Bank Cup, the Junior A national tournament back home. I hadn’t skated in a month or so, and Camrose called me and asked if I wanted to play. I said, “Yeah, let’s do this.”
CR: What’s your favorite restaurant in Denver, and what are you ordering off the menu?
NH: Yard House, and I usually start with their spicy tuna roll and get the salmon.
CR: What hockey player did you most idolize growing up, and why?
NH: Steve Yzerman or Niklas Lidstrom. I loved the Red Wings.
CR: What’s your favorite place to visit, and why?
NH: Boston. The history and layout of the city is so cool, and the Red Sox.
CR: If you weren’t playing professional hockey for a living, what would you be doing?
NH: I started my plumbing apprenticeship when I was 18 and I really enjoyed that, so I’d probably be in the trade somewhere.
CR: What’s the most challenging aspect of playing in the NHL?
NH: The ups of downs of being up and down, and not knowing where you’re going to play the next day – until this year that is (Holden signed a three-year extension with the Avs over the summer through the 2017-18 season). I’m married and have two kids – the youngest 9 months – so it’s tough missing all the “first” stuff with family.
CR: What’s the best hockey prank you’ve witnessed or been a part of?
NH: A “leaner” in a hotel room; you put a bucket of water on a guy’s door, knock on it and run away, and the guy opens the door and water goes everywhere.
Compiled by Mike Chambers