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More to give

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL – Travis Moen was on his way to having the best season of his career before hitting a wall at the most inopportune time.

The wall in question was Mike Komisarek. On Jan. 21, during a tilt between the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs in Toronto, the former Habs defenseman laid a powerful check on Moen that left him with a concussion in its aftermath. Despite making a return to action a few weeks later, Moen ultimately shut things down after only two games back, putting an end to a promising season that had seen him explode out of the gate.

Before being sidelined by injury, Moen had made the most of the first 48 games of his campaign, scoring nine goals – two less than his personal-high of 11 set over the course of 82 games with the Ducks in 2006-07. He would also have only needed five more points to equal his career-best set in Anaheim’s same Stanley Cup winning season.

Over the first half of the year, his work ethic and results earned Moen the trust of the Canadiens coaching staff, who had no qualms sending him out for big minutes on the Habs’ penalty kill that finished the season as the NHL’s second-best with an efficiency of 88.6%. With Moen averaging 2 minutes and 22 seconds of shorthanded ice time per game, only Tomas Plekanec played more penalty-kill-minutes for a Habs forward than the Stewart Valley native.

A reliable physical presence among Canadiens forwards, and never one to shy away from an opportunity to stand up for his teammates, you won’t hear Moen – an unrestricted free agent on July 1st – complain should the Habs offer him a second contract.

“Montreal is my first choice. This is a great city and I have great teammates here,” expressed Moen, who came to the Canadiens as a free-agent in the summer of 2009. “I obviously want to come back and be able to keep playing here and I really appreciate the time I’ve spent here already. I’m hoping that we can all come to an agreement.”

With more than one gear to his game, the 30-year-old forward doesn’t expect to see too many changes to what he’s asked to bring to the table should he return to the Canadiens for the 2012-13 season.

“I think my role would probably be the same. I stick up for my teammates, I play a physical style of hockey and I try to contribute on the scoresheet whenever I can,” continued Moen.

While he might already know where he’d like to spend his next season, Moen admits he still hasn’t spent much time contemplating the details of his new contract.

“I haven’t put too much thought into my next contract at this point. I just want to be able to keep playing in the NHL,” concluded Moen, who already has one Stanley Cup to his name. “I think this is a team that already has a great core of talented players, and with a few additions, I think we’ll be able to get some excellent results.”

Alexandre Harvey is a writer for Translated by Justin Fragapane.

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