Taking Liberties With… Darcy Kuemper
Position: Goaltender, Arizona Coyotes
Hometown: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Acquired: Traded to Coyotes from Los Angeles Kings for goaltender Scott Wedgewood and forward Tobias Rieder on Feb. 21, 2018
NHL Draft: Selected by the Minnesota Wild in the sixth round (161st overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft
Last Amateur Team: Red Deer Rebels (Western Hockey League)
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Darcy Kuemper: When I was 12, I got to skate with a Midget AAA team. They asked me to come on out and skate with them. I was super excited about that. I was just in elementary school and I was out there hanging out with the high school kids and that was exciting for me.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
DK: That would be my first NHL game. That was so exciting, and I was so nervous. It was kind of a blur and all my memories from that game have faded. Yes, I remember the game. It was in Vancouver (Kuemper broke into the NHL with Minnesota) and we lost 2-1 (on Feb. 12, 2013). Unfortunately, we couldn’t win.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
DK: My parents, for sure. My dad helped coaching and my mom was very supportive and drove me around, so both really helped me.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
DK: Just have fun. Don’t worry about all the little things. Just worry about what you can control and have fun.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
DK: I like to watch football. My favorite sport to play is probably golf.
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
DK: No, I try and keep those to a minimum.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
DK: Usually come to the rink, have a little skate, eat some pasta, and take a nap. It’s pretty boring, but that’s what I do.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
DK: Just traded here in the middle of this past season, so I’m still trying a few out. I think it’s too early to pick a favorite.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
DK: I take my iPad, some comfy clothes to wear around the hotel room and that’s about it. I pack pretty light and travel pretty light. Oh yeah, phone charger. Definitely need that.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
DK: Yes, I did. That was Patrick Roy.
– Compiled by Mark Brown
(July 17, 2018)