The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

June 23, 2014

Frederick column: Minor-league star Travis Morin still has NHL dreams

Travis Morin has pretty good life right now.

The 30-year-old former Minnesota State hockey standout and current pro player is married to his college sweetheart and has two young kids. He’s living in the Austin, Texas, area for most of the year, although he has a place in Minnesota where he spends part of his summers.

This past hockey season, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the American Hockey League, leading that league in scoring by 14 points (88 points in 66 games).

And last week, he led his team, the Texas Stars, to the AHL’s Calder Cup championship, getting named playoff MVP after being the postseason’s top point-getter (22 points in 21 games).

Two of his nine goals were back-to-back overtime game-winners in Games 3 and 4 of the finals.

“I thought we had a pretty good team at the start of the year,” Morin said in a phone interview over the weekend. “As the year progressed, I thought we had a good shot. A lot of things had to go right to win a championship.

“It was a great ride; I’m sad it’s over.”

Just living the dream, right?

Maybe not quite yet.

Morin still has his sights set on playing in the National Hockey League.

Despite a scoring prowess he’s shown his entire hockey-playing career — he still ranks third on MSU’s Division I era scoring list, and five years ago he led the South Carolina Stingrays to an ECHL title — he has played in seven NHL games, including four with the Dallas Stars last season.

“I’d still like to get up there and show I can play there,” said Morin, who will be in the second year of a two-way contract with Dallas next season. “And not just for a few games. I hope I can stick there.”

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