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September 21, 2023

In July, Kyle Marino signed a deal to rejoin the Wolves for the 2023-24 season. The 28-year-old forward was a member of the ’21-22 Wolves team that skated to the Calder Cup championship before spending last season with Henderson. During his first stint with the Wolves, Marino enamored himself to teammates and fans with his bruising style of play and willingness to do whatever it takes to secure a victory. In Part 2, Marino talks about playing for coach Bob Nardella, being a leader and what he likes about living in Chicago.

At 28, you’ll be one of the Older players on the roster. Do you anticipate stepping into a leadership role?

“I never turn away from leadership and what I can tell the younger players. I know there are some older veteran guys coming in who will be great leaders, but it’s definitely part of my game.

I like being that voice, being a character in the room and someone guys can turn to whether it’s at the rink or away from the rink if they need anything. I’m always there.”

Why do you believe Bob Nardella is the ideal head coach for this team?

“Bob will be great. He’s definitely put his time in here. He’s a guy who’s respected not only in the Wolves organization, but around the league. Bob has an old-school mentality and is extremely personable. He’s great to be around every day. His attitude is infectious to everyone he’s around.

He worked with me a lot, on my skating and stick-handling my first year that I was there and keeping me up to speed on whether I’d be in or out of the lineup. He was crucial to me that first year keeping me in shape and just doing all the things he could to just keep me at that level and I’ll be forever grateful.”

What have you learned about life playing hockey?

“Hockey is really similar to life. You get out of hockey what you put into it and I think that’s the same with life.

The harder you work, the more successful you are—it’s pretty simple. I can go on for hours talking about hockey and how it translates to everyday life, whether it’s business or work or whatever.”

Ultimately, the two biggest things that I pride myself on are being a good teammate and being a good person, and I think that translates over to anything.”

Where does that come from in your life?

“Past coaches and teammates, but my parents (Mel and Lori) first and foremost have always instilled that in me. Growing up, my dad was always preaching about being a leader and trying to stand out.”

Was it always hockey for you growing up in Niagara Falls, Ontario?

“Hockey was first. I played a little football and baseball in high school and soccer, too, when I was younger, but it was mostly hockey.

Which players did you look up to when you were kid?

“I was a big Buffalo Sabres fan. Guys like Chris Drury, Andrew Peters and Rob Ray were the guys I looked up to for sure.”

What is something about you that Wolves fans would find surprising?

“Probably that I’m a pretty easy-going guy away from the rink. I’m different when the puck drops but I pride myself on being a character. I love to laugh and just take it easy away from the rink for sure.”

How do you take it easy away from hockey?

“I love golf. And I love going out for dinner and spending time with the guys or my wife (Jen).”

What do you like about living and playing in Chicago?

“It’s such a hockey town and the area we’re in is beautiful. I love the food and I love everything about downtown Chicago. I love the winters. It just feels like hockey.”

For Part 1 of the conversation, go here.