Taking Liberties With… Albuquerque native, Hannover Indians defenseman Marcus Gretz
Position: Defenseman, Hannover Indians (Germany)
2019-20 Team: Flint Firebirds (OHL)
New Mexico Youth Teams: New Mexico Scorpions, New Mexico Renegades, Team New Mexico
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Marcus Gretz: My favorite hockey memory growing up is a tough question. Over the years, I’ve played with so many great teammates and great coaches. I think winning back-to-back Bauer World Invite championships and back-to-back state championships with my Belle Tire team were the craziest and most fun times I’ve had.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving New Mexico?
MG: I think getting drafted to the OHL is my favorite. Being a kid from New Mexico, we are always told we aren’t a hockey state and being able to prove people wrong over and over is my biggest goal. I would like to keep doing things just like that and keep showing we can play.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, both on and off the ice?
MG: I’ve had so many influences in my life, but it’s hard to say the biggest. Every year, I have faced a new challenge and I’ve learned to surround myself with people who teach me valuable lessons, both on and off the ice. I’ve been through a lot as a kid and I just think those things correlate because you can’t be a good person on the ice without being a good person off the ice.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
MG: No matter where you come from, your race, what people think, only you can dictate what you do on the ice. Always have an unrelenting belief you will get exactly where you want.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
MG: I am a huge soccer guy. I think it’s almost like an art. It’s a great workout and just fun to relax.
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
MG: Growing up, I did. Now, not so much. Really only tying my left skate first. Maybe a fun one of always calling my teammates a certain name when walking out of the locker.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
MG: Playing in Europe this year has been interesting. With games at 8 p.m. most times, I’d say everything is somewhat similar. I wake up, either go to the rink or for a walk, come home and relax. One thing, though, is my Italian/German teammate has been making me a mean carbonara. So I eat that at 1 and then try and get a nap in before heading to the rink.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant you remember from back home growing up in New Mexico?
MG: Easy. Los Cuates. And, of course, the best pizza ever, Dion’s.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
MG: Always need my massage gun. I take a pair of earbuds and headphones (ones louder for pre-game) and my laptop to binge my favorite show “Suits” or “Lucifer.”
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up? Who and why?
MG: Well, when I was a forward, I think every little kid dreamed of being Sidney Crosby, but as I got older, I started to love Seth Jones and Zach Werenski. They both show great character and play an exceptional game.
Firebirds photo/CHL Images
— Compiled by Matt Mackinder
(Jan. 12, 2021)