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Getting to Know: Lighting defenseman Slater Koekkoek

Mark Malinowski
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Slater Koekkoek. (Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Getting to Know: Lighting defenseman Slater Koekkoek

Mark Malinowski
By:

Tampa Bay Lighting defenseman Slater Koekkek talks about his friendship with Morgan Rielly and his experience with an octopus.

Status: Tampa Bay Lighting defenseman

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 198 pounds
DOB: February 18, 1994 In: Winchester, Ont.

First Hockey Memory: "Just going to the rink in my hometown in Winchester. But then in public school we'd always skate during recess. So that was probably my first real go at it. And I loved it. I took my skates to school every day and couldn't wait for recess obviously [smiles]."

Hockey Inspirations: "My grandfather (Willie Sherwood) played a lot of hockey growing up. He actually went to camp with Gordie Howe."

Last Book Read: "James Duthie - The Guy On The Left."

Greatest Sports Moment: "First NHL game last year."

Most Painful Moment: "Probably all my shoulder surgeries. I've had three of them so I got used to them by the third one [smiles]."

Current Car: "2008 Chevy Silverado (black)."

Favorite Rinks To Play: "I've heard there's some good ones to play in in the NHL but I haven't played in Chicago or Montreal yet. Last year I got to play in Ottawa, my hometown. So that was pretty cool."

Most Memorable Goal: "I don't have too many to remember but maybe my first NHL goal will be the best. When it comes."

Funniest Players Encountered: "That's tough I played with a lot of funny guys, Morgan Reily of the Leafs is one of my best friends We went to private school together. He and I could laugh at each other all day [smiles]."

Why Do You Love Hockey: "I love hockey because your mind just goes black out there. Nothing else in the world matters."

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "Just maybe my pants came untied and ended up falling to the ice. That would be the only one."

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "I like golf but is it my favorite sport? I don't know - I like watching football."

First Famous Player You Met or Encountered: "Not sure. Was a big Leafs fan growing up and used to go to Leafs-Sens games. I think I got down and met Chris Phillips when I was younger - ended up saying Hi to him."

Strangest Game: "Actually we were in Binghamton and got an octopus on the ice. Luke Witkowski picked it up off the ice and threw it into the crowd in Binghamton. He was going around asking the guys to smell his hands [smiles]."

Personality Qualities Most Admired: "I think honesty. Truthfulness. I like to see a hard work ethic in my teammates."

Mark "Scoop" Malinowski is the author of the new tennis books "Facing Federer" and "Facing Nadal" which are available at amazon. He's currently working on "Facing Probert."

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Getting to Know: Lighting defenseman Slater Koekkoek