Travis Moen

With Kevin Kennedy

I was born in Swift Current, but grew up and played my first hockey game on an outdoor pond in Stewart Valley, Saskatchewan. My family has a grain and cattle farm out there where I spend a lot of time in the summer. Growing up, I pretty much worked the farm every day and I guess you would call me a professional gofer. I’d get ordered to go for this or go for that, but I liked it. I used to do a lot of hay baling and drive the tractor around the farm, which was fun for sure. I definitely like going back and helping out, but I’m not sure if farming is what I want to do after I’m finished playing hockey.

My father was a true hockey dad and he gave me plenty of hockey talks. Depending on how I played, the ride home could feel like a very long journey. He knew the game and was critical when he needed to be, but he also pushed me when I needed a push.

He was my first coach and I’ve had so many great coaches and role models throughout my career, but there are definitely a few that stand out. I had Marc Habschied in junior, Trent Yawney in the minors, and Brian Sutter when I broke into the league with Chicago. Every one of those guys took a shot with me and let me come into my own as a hockey player. You don’t get this far without other people believing in you and I had amazing support from those coaches.

READ ALSO:  Rolling Flyers hope to continue streak against Islanders

As a young hockey player I wasn’t very superstitious, but I did like wearing the number 18 and had worn it pretty much my whole life until I was drafted for the Kelowna Rockets. I made the team as a 16-year-old and so did a guy named Carsen Germyn. I don’t remember the circumstance, but he got 18 and I got 17, which I only wore for a year before switching to 24. Then, I played my first NHL game with Chicago and was given number 59 so I wore that, and then I got traded to Anaheim and Ruslan Salei had 24 so I settled on 32 and thankfully haven’t had to switch again.

My favorite hockey player has always been Mario Lemieux. I grew up an Oilers fan, but for some reason I just loved how Lemieux played the game.

The best memory I have from youth hockey was when we won the Western Canadian Championships in bantam. All my close friends today are from that team. We had such a tight group of guys and we battled for that trophy. I’ll never forget that moment.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.