After Ten Years, Travis Morin Retires as the Face of the Texas Stars Franchise

(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
After originally joining the Texas Stars on a tryout contract in 2009, Travis Morin announced his retirement last week after ten years in Cedar Park and a career arc that now makes his name synonymous with Texas Stars hockey. A 25-game PTO turned into three visits to the Finals, a Calder Cup championship, an MVP trophy and a playoff MVP trophy for the now 35-year old Minnesota native.

“I’ve been thinking about it the last few years trying to figure out how long I would want to play and how I would want things to go,” Morin told 100 Degree Hockey when reached by phone on vacation in Minnesota late last week.

“At the end of the year, getting hurt and not being able to finish the season the way I wanted, I kind of wanted to come back for another year. But as the summer wore on, the more and more I thought about it, the internal dialogue was that I was ready for it to all be done.”

Morin noted that even if the Stars had won the championship in 2018, he probably would have returned to make it an even ten years in Texas. After this season, an influx of new prospects shuffled Morin out of Texas’s plans and he had a decision to make. There was interest this summer for Morin to head out elsewhere in the league, if he had wanted. His pedigree is well established as both a veteran leader and a scoresheet contributor.

“In the end, I wasn't going to move my family, and I wasn’t going to leave them for a year just to go play another year. I was ready for it to be done. [Texas] offered me the job with them, and it seemed like the perfect thing for me and my family.”

That mantra of thinking about his family first was a huge part of what kept Morin in Cedar Park for ten years. His two younger boys were born in Texas and his oldest moved here as an infant, and every new contract year, Morin considered his family first and himself second, a character trait that shines through in how he comports himself generally.

“To give myself the chance to do my best, whether it was the AHL or the NHL, was to be somewhere I was comfortable. My family loves it there, I love it there, and they kept wanting me back… I felt like if someone told me there were greener pastures, you never know how it’s going to work out. When I go somewhere new, sometimes it’s going to take me a little while to get comfortable and do what I really know I can do. I looked at it that way. My family was happy, I was happy, and there wasn’t really a good enough reason to uproot that.”

(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Morin describes his new role as “fluid”, as it will have him jumping into all aspects of what it means to put together a hockey team at the AHL level. He’ll be in the coaching room with Derek Laxdal and Neil Graham and working on ice with players in practice and other coaching sessions. He’ll be there to offer advice and guidance to players off ice as well. The team is also putting him to work in the front office. With ten years of experience in Austin, Morin is the face of Texas Stars hockey to so many and will act as a team representative at events across the city. He summarizes, “Whatever I can do to keep promoting the game and the team in the Austin area.”

“They’re giving me that opportunity to see all facets of what goes into hockey. It’s giving me a lot of avenues to explore and figure out if there’s a role I want with the team moving forward that I can expand into next year and moving forward.”

Being the ‘face’ of a team and having your jersey retired are quite the career accomplishments for a player who, by his own admission, wasn’t sure he’d play more than a few years in the ECHL when he started.

“I thought maybe this was going to be a couple of year thing and then I'll be in the real world working somewhere probably in Minnesota… To see where it’s all gone has been amazing in my estimation, and I’m very proud of what I did, what I accomplished and what the team accomplished.

“Obviously I wish I had played more in the NHL and maybe scored a goal up there, but in the end, winning a few championships and playing twelve years in some of the best places in their respective leagues to play is pretty good to me.”