Canadiens forward Glen Metropolit will always be fond of his time in Boston.
Still looking for a team in the fall of 2007 after amassing 33 points with the Thrashers and Blues in 2006-07, Metropolit was invited to Bruins training camp on a free-agent tryout basis. Metropolit impressed head coach Claude Julien and GM Peter Chiarelli and made the team.
The Toronto native went on to become an integral part of the Bruins that season, helping fill the void left by Patrice Bergeron, who missed most of the season after suffering a serious concussion. Metropolit posted 33 points and became a leader in the dressing room.
?That was a great time in my career and really helped me establish myself as the player I can be,? Metropolit told NESN.com.
Following the season, he signed a two-year deal with the Flyers that would pay him $1 million per season. But things never got going in Philadelphia for ?Metro? (as he is affectionately known by teammates and friends), and he was waived, then picked up on re-entry waivers by Montreal last February.
This season, with loads of new faces on the Canadiens? roster, Metropolit has once again become a locker-room favorite and is also excelling on the ice with three goals and six assists.
?You know I am comfortable now,? said Metropolit who recently moved into a downtown Montreal residence with his family. ?The family likes it. I love the city and really love this team. We have a great dressing room. Lots of character, and everyone is buying into what [head coach] Jacques [Martin] is selling, so it?s a good situation.?
Mike Cammalleri, one of the new Canadiens, is happy to see Metropolit getting recognized and finding success in Montreal. Metropolit has always been known as a grinder, but given the chance to show his skill, he won?t disappoint.
?You think he?s a hard worker?? Cammalleri jokingly asked. ?He?s tricked all of you guys, eh? No, you know what? It is great to see him not only get rewarded for his hard work but also for his play. He?s really underrated. He?s like that kid that was always the best in street hockey and could stickhandle around everyone, great hands. He?s strong on the puck and a really good passer. Jacques has him out there to help the team win hockey games, not just to reward him.?
The Habs? new head coach concurred.
?Metro has had a good start for us,? Martin said. ?He was injured for a bit, and we really missed him. He?s a versatile player, and he?s had good production. He brings a lot of skill, and he is a very popular teammate, getting the best out of them.?
Metropolit is happy to be helping a struggling Canadiens squad find its way, but he will always treasure his time in Boston, and he?s psyched to still be a part of hockey?s greatest rivalry.
?I always loved it here and still keep in touch with a lot of guys,? he said. ?I loved this city too, and the fans were my type of fans, you know, working-class types. Appreciate hard work and toughness.?