1-on-1 with Forward Justin Kirkland

Roadrunners Forward Justin Kirkland joined Adrian Denny, Kim Cota-Robles, and Arizona Daily Star Sports Editor Brett Fera during the just completed road trip on Roadrunners Happy Hour. Catch Happy Hour every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on Fox Sports 1450 AM and the complete conversation in the Roadrunners Happy Hour Podcast on the iHeartRadio app. This week’s edition that featured another game night special from Ontario on Tuesday and Special Guest Micah Miller can be found below.

Listen to “In SoCal With Micah Miller” on Spreaker.

Q: We were excited to have you as a Roadrunner. What has it been like in your time here?

I always loved traveling to Tucson as an away team (Stockton, San Diego), so to call it home for the season is exciting. A couple of injuries to start the season has been frustrating, I want to be out there everynight helping the team win, especially against Calgary. I would have loved to go out and beat my old team but it’s part of life.

Q: Tell us about how it went this summer signing with the Coyotes?

It’s always an uneasy time of the year entering that free agency period. My agent had been talking to Arizona for a little bit and that was exciting for me. I was close to coming here the year before so it’s nice to know there is someone here who believed in it. Getting to live in Arizona in the winter is a little bit better than living in Alberta in the winter. I’m just excited to get back on the ice with the guys and help them win some games.

Q: Are you able to golf right now while you are recovering from your injury?

I’m not, no. Unfortunately both of the injuries have hampered any golfing ability. Fortunately there is a lot of time for that ahead and an entire offseason for that. My full attention has been on getting healthy and moving on with the rest of the season.

Q: What is your group when you’re on the bus? Who are you sitting with an what are you doing?

Our group on the bus is usually done by age. Rookies are doubling up and the older guys sit towards the back. Myself, Steven Kampfer, Hunter Drew, and other guys who have been around the league for a few years sit in the back. We’re pretty big into cards. 7 Up 7 Down is a good game. It’s a good way to bond and have some fun and laugh. A few guys on the team aren’t very good, so it can be easy. It’s a good way to get the guys together, we have a lot of fun.

The Texas Stars played the Tucson Roadrunners in an AHL game on Friday, October 13, 2023 at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Texas. The Stars fell to Roadrunners, 3-to-2. (Andy Nietupski / TTL Sports Media; X: @TTLSports: Instagram: @TTLSportsMedia)

Q: You spent time in the Ducks organization last year playing in San Diego and Anaheim. What has it been like moving from California to Arizona?

I think it’s a little bit the same for us. We’re there for six or seven months during the season. It’s pretty similar weather, maybe a little hotter in Arizona. California was great, I was in Stockton for a few years and San Diego for a year. My wife and I really enjoy to travel and see new things, try new foods and experience things. That’s what so cool about the professional hockey journey is making so many stops in new cities whether traveling or playing there. So far we love Tucson and really enjoy it. For a kid from Canada it’s pretty hard to beat spending your winter in Arizona.