Standing at 6’5”, Garrett Klotz is one of the taller players to ice for the Blaze this season. Coming from the ECHL in North America, the Canadian brings a wealth of experience to the team. It helps, that as a forward, he is not afraid to use his size and fight when necessary. This has made him very popular with the fans, and he’s even scored a few goals as well!
How is it, playing on the fourth line? Klotz said, “It’s great, I’m more a role player, so I’ve always been on the third or fourth line, so I’m used to it. Here in the Elite League I’m getting more ice time than I’m used to, so I’m trying to take advantage of it and doing the most I can with the time. That includes a goal every once in a while, so that always helps. I’m not here to score, I’m here to take care of the boys and bring a physical aspect to the game. Whenever I score it’s a bonus.”
You’ve made a name for yourself as an enforcer. How do you feel about fighting? “I’ve been doing it my whole pro hockey career, so it’s nothing new to me. I don’t mind it. I kind of enjoy it. some nights it is not easy, but it’s my job so I accept it,” he explained.
Usually, in the Elite League, teams employ a defenseman who acts as an enforcer. Klotz playing as a forward is a slight departure from what a lot of us are used to. Does he see this as being unusual? Klotz shrugged. “It depends. Defensemen are known to more physical, but there are other forwards who are enforcers. I just do what I can. Usually they want the forwards to score, but in my case I try and do both.”
Speaking of which, how is the scoring going? He smiled, “It’s my second-best scoring season ever. I’ve got six goals and two assists so far, I’m going to try and finish the season with ten – that’s my aim, ten goals and ten assists. We’ll see how it goes. There’s 18 games left so I’m going to try and finish strong and hope for the best.”
What made you decide to come to Coventry? Klotz explained, “My friend Garrett Zemlak played in the Elite League – he was netminder for Fife, Braehead and Belfast – and he put me in touch with Danny Stewart as he had played with him in Fife. Danny asked in the summer if I wanted to come overseas – I looked it up on the internet and had a chat with other guys I’ve played with who played here before, like Jim Jorgensen. They said it was a good city and there were lots of positives, so I agreed to come here.”
He continued, “it’s a good city with a good fan base. the fans here are a bit more intense than they are back home – they are die hard and I really enjoy it, and spending time with them.”
Like most hockey players from North America, Klotz appreciates the opportunities to travel from the UK. “Obviously, we’ve travelled with the team, that was fun, going to Belfast and to Scotland. I’ve been to London a few times too. After the season I’m hoping to get across to Europe and then maybe head over to Thailand.”
Klotz keeps busy when he’s not on the ice. “I just go to the rink in the mornings and train on the ice. In the afternoons I go to the gym and do some off-ice training, and in the evenings I hang out with the boys, play some cards or read. We went bowling with the fans recently, which was fun. It’s nice to get some downtime and just relax in the evenings.”
As Garrett has reminded us, the season is drawing to a close, and players are starting to think about next year. He said “I’ll take the future as it comes. I haven’t really thought too much into it. I’ll do what I can here, finish strong and finish on a positive note, and see what comes my way.”