DALLAS — No matter what happened in the game, Travis Morin was headed back to Austin after the Dallas Stars’ matchup against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.
Instead of driving south on Interstate 35 as the result of a demotion to the Texas Stars, though, Morin was simply headed home for the holidays during the NHL’s mandated two-day break for Christmas.
“We’re going to head back to Austin for a couple days. The little ones want to open up their presents,” Morin said Tuesday during a morning skate for the NHL club. “We didn’t bring everything up here. It probably would have taken two truckloads to get all the presents up here.”
While Andrew, 5, and 9-month-old Lucas Morin will be opening Christmas gifts in familiar surroundings, their 30-year-old father has been working on turning Dallas into their permanent home.
It’s a crucial time in Morin’s career as he looks to take the step to NHL fixture with his 31st birthday looming in January.
With 320 points in 373 career games, an MVP award and a Calder Cup championship, Morin doesn’t have anything left to prove in the American Hockey League, home to the Texas Stars, Dallas’ top minor-league affiliate. Despite his success, NHL opportunities have been few for Morin, who was buried in Dallas’ organizational depth chart for the past three seasons.