Taking Liberties With… Jason Demers
Position: Defenseman, Arizona Coyotes
Hometown: Dorval, Quebec, Canada
NHL Draft: San Jose’s seventh-round pick (186th overall) in 2008
Acquired: Traded to Coyotes from Florida Panthers on Sept. 17, 2017, in exchange for forward Jamie McGinn
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Jason Demers: When I was playing in Pee Wee, we won the Provincials in the province of Quebec. We won our league, and we didn’t lose a game all year. Wait, I think we lost one all year. It was a great accomplishment, and something very cool. All the kids from our community participated, and my dad was the coach. It was a fun time, and a great memory.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
JD: I scored in the 2010 Western Conference Finals and my first goal of the playoffs (playing for the San Jose Sharks) against Chicago was on the power play. That was the first goal of the series, and a very pretty cool experience. Scored against Antti Niemi (with the Blackhawks), and they won it all that year. So that was a cool memory to have.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
JD: My family has always been huge for me. My dad was my coach and my brother was on my team. They were always a driving point for me to get into hockey and to stay with it. So they were always huge, and still big for me, even now.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
JD: Play to your strengths and work on your deficiencies. It’s a cliché, but always keep working and make sure you’re the hardest working guy in the room. At the end of the day, it’s always the hardest working guy who breaks through.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
AZR: Do you have any superstitions?
JD: I get dressed a certain way every time, and eat the exact same thing for my pre-game meal and on game days. That’s pretty much it, rather simple.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
JD: Wake up for breakfast, and head to the rink for our morning skate. Cook my own pre-game meal and have a quick nap. Have a little snack when I wake up, go the rink and have the same snack. Same amount of drinks and all that. My snack is peanut butter and banana. Yep, high protein.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
JD: I have a couple. I love True Foods Kitchen. I live close to The Vig, and I like to Vig, too.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
JD: Some vitamins and a little backpack of knickknacks. Protein power and stuff like that which helps me get ready for games.
AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up?
JD: I liked Sergei Gonchar, and followed him. Being from Quebec, I was a big Canadiens fan, and liked Saku Koivu, too.
– Compiled by Mark Brown
(Jan. 17, 2018)