MONTREAL -- One will be living out a childhood dream, playing 45 minutes from his hometown against the team he cheered for as a kid, while the other may be playing his final game in front of fans who grew to love him in his five years playing for the Montreal Canadiens.
Florida Panthers rookie Jonathan Huberdeau and veteran linemate Alex Kovalev will be coming from opposite ends of the experience spectrum, but will be experiencing similar emotions when they step on Bell Centre ice to face the Canadiens on Tuesday night.
"He's more than twice my age," said Huberdeau, a 19-year-old native of nearby St-Jerome who was the No. 3 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. "It's funny to think he was playing in the NHL before I was even born."
Kovalev, who turns 40 on Feb. 24, wouldn't be put off in the slightest by his young linemate's comments, because he finds it just as funny.
"I was laughing the other day with my sons and my wife that I'm playing with a kid who wasn't born when I won the Cup," Kovalev said.