Taking Liberties With… Conor Garland
Position: Forward, Arizona Coyotes/Tucson Roadrunners
Hometown: Scituate, Mass.
NHL Draft: Selected by Coyotes in fifth round (123rd overall) of 2015 NHL Draft
Last Amateur Team: Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
On Feb. 27, the Coyotes signed Garland to a two-year contract extension through the 2020-21 season.
“Conor has come onto our team and made an impact through his work ethic and willingness to get to the net and score goals,” said Coyotes GM John Chayka. “He’s a great success story for our organization as a later-round pick and the development process he went through to get here. We’re thrilled to get him signed long term.”
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Conor Garland: Good question. Winning Game 7 against our rivals in juniors. We beat the Halifax Mooseheads in Game 7 of a tough series and that was pretty cool. I had no goals in that one but just enjoyed the win.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
CG: Playing for the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL) and winning the playoff series last year against the San Jose Barracuda. We won Game 5 and had a sold-out crowd at home. Pretty cool to win that game.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
CG: My father, for sure. He taught me almost everything I know about hockey. He drove me to all of my practices growing up and I wouldn’t be here without him.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
CG: Believe in yourself. I was taught that multiple times growing up and now believe in myself full time, so that’s huge.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
CG: Football. Big Patriots fan.
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
CG: No, none.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
CG: I go to Maggiano’s (in Scottsdale) before every game and get chicken parm with sparkling water. Take a nap for about 20 minutes and that’s about it. I come to the rink early, around 4 p.m., and just get ready from there.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
CG: True Foods is really good.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
CG: Just a deck of cards. I play with Clayton Keller quite a bit and that’s the most important thing.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
CG: Marc Savard. He played for the Boston Bruins when I was growing up and he was a great playmaker. I try and model my game after him.
— Compiled by Mark Brown
(April 11, 2019)