Taking Liberties With… Alex Goligoski
Position: Defenseman, Arizona Coyotes
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Minn.
NHL Draft: Selected by Pittsburgh Penguins in second round (61st overall) of 2004 NHL Draft
Acquired: Rights traded to Coyotes from Dallas Stars on June 16, 2016, for a fifth-round pick in 2016 NHL Draft; signed five-year contract with Coyotes on June 21, 2016
Last Amateur Team: University of Minnesota (then WCHA, NCAA D-I)
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Alex Goligoski: I would say just playing on the outdoor rink. That was two blocks from my house and loved the late nights out there.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
AG: There are so many. My first pro season was unbelievable. That was in the AHL and we went to the Calder Cup Finals (with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins). It was really fun. The run I had with Pittsburgh and watching that whole Stanley Cup run and everything was amazing. Had some good years in Dallas and I’m having fun with this group with the Coyotes. There have been a ton of great memories.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
AG: Just my parents. Just everything they did and the foundation they built. Yes, they have been definitely my biggest influence.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
AG: If you enjoy playing, work hard at it. Just try to keep getting better.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
AG: No really. If we win, I’ll stay in the same suit for the next game.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
AG: Breakfast, then pre-game skate, lunch, nap. Go the rink. That’s it.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
AG: I really like Roka Akor (in Scottsdale). Yeah, really like that spot.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
AG: I’m pretty simple. It’s just clothes and toiletries.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
AG: Scott Niedermayer.
— Compiled by Mark Brown
(May 14, 2019)