A young hockey player receives a big surprise from the Coyotes | Sports

IYou could say that many sports fans think they should have a say in what their team does. Lena Travis, an 11-year-old hockey player who lives in Anthem, now believes she’s done just that, and more.

The Arizona Coyotes were expected to trade some of their players as the NHL trade deadline approached. One of those players was Lawson Crouse, a favorite of Travis.

“I remember when the trade deadline was coming up. I felt like he was going to get screwed because he was just my favorite player,” Travis said.

Because of this, Travis sent a letter to the Coyotes asking them not to trade the right wing.

“I just really wanted to send this so that (Coyotes general manager) Bill Armstrong would just be convinced that he’s just been a really good player for the Arizona Coyotes – so he wouldn’t be traded and he would continue to to be a really great player for the Coyotes,” she added.

Not only did they end up not trading him, but after the deadline, Armstrong and Crouse sent him Crouse’s No. 67 jersey which bore the words, “To Lena. Thank you for your support.”

“I was so surprised that this happened from this little letter I just sent. I had no idea seeing it would have such a strong effect, I could have a jersey like this, “he said. she stated.

It wasn’t the first time Crouse had blessed Travis and his family. Travis plays center for the Arizona Kachinas on the elite 12-and-under travel team, and when she started playing two years ago, it was Crouse who presented her with her first jersey. of team. After that, Travis said, “I’ve loved her ever since.” She models her game after him and even revisits some of his highlights.

Crouse realizes his responsibility to the young players who look up to him.

“When I was growing up, I would go to my city’s junior team and you idolized those guys and dreamed of doing what they did one day,” he said. “Lena is a hockey player. We must stick together.

She and her family have had subscriptions to see the Coyotes for over 20 years. Her mother, Marissa, said Lena got into hockey “because she was two weeks old when she went to her first game. And she loves sports since she was a little girl.

Other opportunities the Coyotes and Crouse have given the Travis family include Marissa’s husband who had a ceremonial face-off a few years ago. And earlier this year, when Marissa and her husband bought tickets for Lena and her baby brother on their first East Coast road trip, Crouse surprised them with a video message to tell them they were going.

“When you see the reaction of the kids along the glass in a game or when we come out to support these junior teams, you know you have a special opportunity to make a positive impact,” Crouse said.

Because of that example and all the Coyotes and Crouse have meant to their family, Marissa said, “A lot of people say hockey doesn’t belong in the desert. But it certainly brought interesting experiences to our family. And we enjoy it every moment. »

Catherine J. Martinez