OAKVILLE, ON. — Glen Metropolit‘s time with the Montreal Canadiens may have only spanned just over a season and a half, but considering the Habs didn’t give up anything to get him, he definitely played an important role on a struggling Canadiens squad.
Honestly, when it was first announced the Canadiens had acquired the former Boston Bruin forward from Philadelphia, I thought it was a bit strange considering that there were better players up for grabs that day, which happened to be the 2009 NHL trade deadline. But over time, Metro really grew on me. He came out every night playing like he only had minutes to live and played his role as a checking center very, very well.
A Toronto, Ontario native, Metropolit was never drafted by a CHL or NHL team, yet managed a 10-year NHL career and 407 games played. After a GTHL career, Metropolit played two seasons for the Richmond Hill Riots Jr.B. hockey club in the Ontario Hockey Association before heading over to British Columbia to play a stint with the Vernon Vipers of the B.C. Hockey League. With no more junior eligibility left, Metropolit joined the Nashville Knights of the ECHL in the 1995–96 season, where he put up an impressive 61 points in 58 games.
In 2003, with no NHL contract to boot, Metropolit went overseas to Helsinki to play with Jokerit for the 2003–04 season. In a brilliant first season, he led his team in scoring with 15 goals and 50 points, good for fifth in the entire league that year. He scored six goals during seven playoff games that year, but Jokerit was eliminated in the very first round. The next season, his offense dipped to 47 points, however Metro’s Jokerit squad had a wonderful season, and a big reason was because of the offense created by both Metropolit and Marko Jantunen. Jokerit may have had a great run, but the team would lose out in the finals.
Although he has solidified himself as a good role player in the NHL, Metropolit experienced the most success in National League A, the top league in Switzerland. After two years with Jokerit, Metropolit moved to Switzerland where he won the NLA championship with HC Lugano. He also led the league in scoring during the regular season, recording 66 points in only 43 games that season. The Atlanta Thrashers took notice of his performance, and signed Metropolit to a one-year deal for the 2006-2007 season. Metropolit’s stint with the Thrashers was short-lived. After 57 games with the club he was dealt to the St. Louis Blues with a pair of draft picks for Keith Tkachuk just days prior to the NHL trade deadline. He appeared in 20 games with the Blues and in the summer of 2007 signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Boston Bruins. Metropolit had a career year with the Bruins, recording 33 points in 82 games as Boston’s trusty third-line checking center.
Metropolit signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers as a free agent on July 1, 2008. Metropolit had a decent 14 points in 55 games for Philadelphia, playing mainly on the fourth line, but in hopes of making a couple of deals at the trade deadline, Philly placed Metro on waivers. The Canadiens picked him up, and ironically, faced the Flyers the same night. Metropolit had two goals and one assist in 21 games with the Habs that season before the Canadiens took on another former team of Glen’s, the Boston Bruins, in the first round of the 2008-2009 playoffs. Montreal clearly struggled, scoring only six goals in a four-game sweep, in which Metropolit recorded two assists.
Metropolit had a decent season with the Canadiens the year after, recording 16 goals and 13 assists in only 69 games after missing games due to rib and shoulder injuries. Metropolit had the exact same playoff point total in 2009-2010 as he did the previous season, recording only two assists, but he played a pivotal shutdown role in the upset wins against the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins (we all remember how awesome those playoffs were.)
After the Canadiens were eliminated by the Flyers in five games, Metropolit returned to the NLA signing a two-year contract with EV Zug. Scoring 15 goals and 53 points in 47 games, Metropolit lead the Swiss-based league once again in points. This time around, Metropolit played a much bigger role in the playoffs, scoring two goals and 10 points in 12 games. The next season, while Metropolit’s point total wasn’t as good as the previous year, he still recorded 15 goals and 36 points in 42 games, but again posted 12 points in the playoffs that season with Zug.
Glen is enjoying a mighty fine season with Lugano in Switzerland this year. Already, after 30 games, Metropolit has 39 points in only 30 games, defeating his previous season point total in a few less games. Metro centres Lugano’s first line, playing between 18 to 20 minutes per night and getting a ton of power-play and penalty-kill time. While his NHL career may not compare to that of a superstar, Metropolit’s time in the NLA is nothing to squawk at. With 193 points in 163 games, Metropolit could go down as one of the more talented players to ever suit up in Switzerland, claiming the honors of NLA league leader in points (twice), NLA Best Forward, and NLA Champion in 2005 with Lugano.
But hey, it didn’t cost the Habs any players to get him.
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