1-On-1 with Peter DiLiberatore

We caught up with Tucson Roadrunners Defenseman Peter DiLiberatore on this week’s Insider Podcast to talk about his professional tryout turned AHL contract season with Tucson. Download this week’s podcast below to find out whether DiLiberatore prefers an ice cream cone or snow cone and what flavor.

Listen to “All The Way From Nova Scotia” on Spreaker.

How did you get connected with the Coyotes and Roadrunners for the tryout that turned into a great year and earning a contract for next season?

I think it was the previous year; it was coming towards the trade deadline and my agent and I were talking back and forth about a trade. He brought up the Coyotes as one of the teams interested. Obviously, it didn’t happen that trade deadline, but I got the feeling that they might be interested. I didn’t get re-signed for the summer so I was thinking where I would land. In August, my agent came back and said I have a PTO with the Coyotes and that’s where I’ll be heading. It happened late, but it was a quick turnaround which was nice.

How would you assess the season this year for yourself?

A lot of good takeaways and positives; at the same time the coaching staff and the guys all helped me feel comfortable and that I can just play my game too. It was an easy environment to go into and just be myself and play like myself; so a lot of credit to them and a lot of positives to take from this year and put them into next year.

How did you find out you were getting the contract offer for next year?

It was kind of funny how it worked; I was on the PTO at the time and my agent called me and said, “they want to sign you now and for next year as well.” It all happened unexpectedly but definitely good news and I am appreciative of the opportunity and future they see in me.

Now that you are signed with the Roadrunners next season, what is the next step for you to get more playing time with the team?

As cliché as it sounds, it’s getting bigger and stronger; I think something we talked about is getting more explosive but other than that, I think a lot of it is just doing my work down here and getting on the ice and feeling good. At the same time, a lot of it is coming back home and getting refreshed; while hanging out with friends and family. When the season starts, you’re ready to give it your all and take the next step.

What’s your offseason routine for hockey when you’re home?

I usually give it about a week or so to just chill, forget about the game and be a normal person. I get back to the gym after and usually wait about a month or so to get back on the ice. From there, I’m usually skating three times a week, so it’s a pretty good regiment. It’s nice to have a lot of buddies who are in the same things: we work out together, skate together and golf together. It’s nice to have that group of guys you can do that stuff with; you’re always on the same schedule.

You’ve played in some good spots in Vegas and Tucson; places that people go to for vacation, but you lived and worked in those two spots. How was the transition for you?

I felt lucky; even my agent told me he hated me moving out from the west coast (traded from Vegas to Pittsburgh on March 1, 2023) and I told him I’m not going to complain; that’s just how it worked out. It’s cool for me being from hills and oceans while Arizona is dry desert and mountains so it’s a nice 180. I get to skip the cold weather here and come over to the nice weather in Tucson, so I lucked out.

The defensive core for the team was good this season and Assistant Coach John Slaney oversaw the unit. How was he as a coach for you; helping you establish yourself on the team when you were a newcomer on the PTO and earning the contract and playing time?

He was awesome and one of the key factors for why I felt so comfortable going in. He did such a great job with the system and structure. He’s an easy guy to go to and ask any questions you have; the stuff that he would provide and the way he sees the game is impressive. He was unreal and all the other defensemen would say the same thing and have a lot to thank for him.