Montreal Canadiens forward Travis Moen is now back in Swift Current after a lengthy playoff run that ended in the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers.
He hosted his annual charity golf tournament on Monday along with Zack Smith and Trent McCleary.
“I have been raised in this community and I have been fortunate enough to play the game of hockey and it great for me to be able to give back and help some great causes. It is just something that I believe I want to do and that people in my position should definitely try and help out,” said the Stewart Valley native.
Moen said it is always good to reconnect with some familiar faces at the tournament.
“Yeah home is home. You are away in the winter from your family and friends. It is nice when you do get home to be able to spend time with them. There is nothing better than going out for a nice round of golf and supporting a great cause.”
Moen appeared in four games after returning from injury during the playoffs.
“Yeah it was disappointing. We felt like we had a chance to win. Obviously losing Pricey [Carey Price] really hurt in game one. Obviously [Dustin] Tokarski came in and played really well for us. We had a chance, there were some tight games, but we just couldn’t quite do it.”
He said the sting of losing in the playoffs was still very real.
“Oh yeah it is not easy watching the New York and Los Angeles series. You want to be there and you want to have a chance to win that cup. It is never easy to be sitting at home on the couch watching them play. It is not an easy pill to swallow that’s for sure.”
He said he still watched the Finals, even after being eliminated by the Rangers.
“You play hockey and you are always a hockey fan. I have some guys that I have played with on both teams and I don’t really know who I am rooting for or if I am rooting for anybody. It is still exciting hockey to watch though.”
Moen won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 during his third NHL season, scoring the cup-winning goal in game five.
“I think that I was 25 when I won it. You don’t really take it for granted, but you kind of forget how hard it is to get there, just to get there to play for the cup, let alone the Eastern Conference Final or just making the playoffs. It just shows you how competitive the league is and how hard it is to get there every year. Hopefully the next couple years, time is starting to run out, but hopefully I would like raise that second cup.”
The highlight of the playoffs was eliminating the rival Boston Bruins in seven games in the second round.
“It was great. We knew they were a great team and we had lost out to them in 2011 and they went on to win the cup. Obviously we wanted to beat them to move on. Price played really well and gave us a chance. We just played a good team game and went to game seven and we came out on top.”
Moen said the atmosphere in Montreal was electric during the playoffs.
“It is crazy. It seems like once you get past that first round the buzz is amazing. They are always behind you and after the game it is 45 minutes after the game and you are driving out on the streets and there are still fans cheering and giving you the thumbs up. The fan support in Montreal is amazing.”
Moen, 32, is now a veteran of 680 regular season games and 77 playoff games since breaking into the NHL in 2003-04. He had two goals, 10 assists, and 49 penalty minutes in 65 games with the Habs this season.
“I thought I had a pretty good start to the season. I had a couple of injuries, took a puck in the face and missed two weeks with that. I had another little injury and then obviously got the concussion and missed a fair amount of time with that, five weeks, and was obviously frustrated because you never want to get one of those. I am back to 100 percent now and my focus is to get back to training soon and try and limit my chances of getting hurt next year by training hard and all that kind of stuff.”
Moen has two years remaining on a four-year contract with the Canadiens but the team faces plenty of uncertainty with free agency looming for many important players.
“We don’t know. We have lots of guys that need to be signed. Obviously P.K. Subban is the big one that everyone is looking for. There are a lot of key guys on the team with [Andrei] Markov, [Brian] Gionta, [Lars] Eller, Ryan White, there is quite a few guys to sign. It will be interesting to see what happens but we believe we have a good core group of guys. Hopefully with some of these younger guys [Brendan] Gallagher, [Alex] Galchenyuk gaining experience we feel like we will have a good team for next year.”