What’s in a nickname? A lot of that depends on what your name is. If it’s Smith or Smyth it’s likely Smitty or Smytty, but for Ryan Smyth it was also Mullet or for Jason Smith it was Gator as in the University of Florida Gators football team. I look back at one-time captain Ethan Moreau who went by Chopper. I never did find out if it was because he used his stick to chop sticks/players or because he was missing his front teeth, also known as his choppers.
Doug Weight was Weighter, Anson Carter, who you can see on both Sportsnet and TNT, was AC. He is a cool guy but I think his first and last initial would be the reason. Whatever the background is on a player’s nickname it’s always neat to have one or be given one like Dylan Holloway‘s Hollywood moniker.
Before we give you the back story on Holloway, let me tell you about Hollywood. It’s a neighbourhood in Los Angeles that revolves around the entertainment business. It’s a haven for tourists with landmarks like the Chinese theatre or the Walk of Fame, and it’s home to major motion picture studios like Paramount.
However, it’s the sign that is a landmark synonymous with the area. It spells out the word Hollywood in 45-foot tall white uppercase letters and stretches 350 feet long. It was originally created in 1923 as a temporary advertisement for a local real estate development, but due to increasing recognition the sign was left up and in fact replaced in 1978 with a more durable all-steel structure.
As for Hollywood Holloway, he was created in 2001 and born September 23. He stands 6-foot-1, 203 pounds, and after an early-season injury has been durable, playing in 37 of 41 games.
Video: NYI@EDM: Holloway scores in 2nd period
It all began for Dylan in 2020 when he was drafted by Edmonton in the first round. Injuries delayed his NHL arrival but he played in one playoff game last spring. This season, he came to Edmonton for Rookie Camp, went to Young Stars in Penticton and continued at Main Camp playing pre-season games. That’s where Tyson Barrie got his first real good look at the young forward.
“I just remember meeting him and I thought this guy has the flowing hair, the good looks,” Barrie explained. “And he just looked Hollywood to me.”
It was one thing to say it in the Oilers dressing room, but it’s another thing to say it publicly.
“When (Barrie) said it on TV, that’s when it really started to gain attention,” the rookie laughed. Thus, Hollywood stuck with others around the room yelling it out and another shout-out on TV by Leon Draisaitl.
Dylan has been called other nicknames in the past: Dylan, Dilly, Holler, Holls and Hollers. Playing hockey automatically comes with a nickname — just ask the Oiler who gave one to Dylan.
“They call me TB2’s, T Beauty, T, Bearcat,” Barrie said. “It’s important to have a good one. You don’t want one you don’t like.”
The friendly and engaging defenceman often doles out nicknames to others like he did with Holloway. Some were there before he arrived like Davo for Connor McDavid or Leo/Drai/Drat for Draisaitl.
Others he had a hand in branding with an alternative name. “We call him the janitor,” Barrie said. “Because of Janmark it’s Janitor (with a hard or soft J). We call Evan Bouchard the Butcher.”
There are other publicly-heard nicknames like Shoresy for Devin Shore or Yamo for Kailer Yamamoto, and let’s not forget Soup or Soupy for birthday boy Jack Campbell.
Every player has one, but not one that is connected with the rich and famous like Hollywood.
“I never really had a favourite one,” Holloway said. “But this a big one. You can’t be called that and not live up to it.”
Dylan will do his best, but it will be a Titanic challenge as he enters a world where his favourite actors are Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Holland and Brad Pitt. On the female side, it’s Margot Robbie or Ana de Armas, his celebrity crush.
As the Oilers arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday, it was his second visit to Hollywood as he continues writing a script to his own movie where he plays the lead character.
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