Howe Puts Heart into it, On and Off the Ice

Howe Puts Heart into it, On and Off the Ice

May 2, 2024

By Morgan Korovec/    

They say actions speak louder than words. For Travis Howe, that’s true both in and out of the rink.  

While his fists do a lot of the talking on the ice, it’s his off-ice character that speaks even louder.  

A force to be reckoned with in the game, a team treasure, and a heart of gold in the San Diego community. Howe does he do it all?  

"It’s a dream come true," Howe said. "I guess, that’s like the little kid in me. 

"It’s just so cool. Every day it’s just, grateful. There’s a lot of gratitude, and the support, not only from my teammates and whatnot, but the coaching staff, and even the entire staff, it’s just first-class all the way."

Much like that top-notch support system, Howe’s character is equally commendable. 

Known to drop gloves and get gnarly in the game, the 6-4, 225-pound forward is fiercely loyal to his teammates and an intimidating physical presence to those who don’t know him beyond being #42 on the ice. But Howe’s story is not only about hockey -- it’s about heart.  

The Hull, Mass. native was named the San Diego Gulls’ winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award, recognized for his positive contributions to the San Diego community. From his participation in outings like special hockey team practices to Gulls Night at Rady Children’s Hospital Ice Rink, Howe has embodied community spirit throughout the 2023-2024 season. 

Howe became a favorite from the get-go, adored by hockey fans of all ages, and looked up to by his younger teammates. 

"I think our biggest thing over the year, obviously, sometimes the results didn’t show, but we have a lot of pride in our locker room," Howe said. "Again, the results didn’t show at times, but every single game, we fought to the very end and I think that’s what we can definitely take with us for next year.  

"You got a lot of young guys, a lot of growth this year, and I know I’m personally excited for next year, to see a whole new level of San Diego Gulls hockey. I’m going to be excited for it and I think everybody else will be too…Especially these young guys, all the talent in the world, they get a year under their belt, and I think they’ll be coming back hungrier than ever next year."

While Howe’s impact on the ice is less about scoring goals, his influence is felt far beyond the walls of Pechanga Arena San Diego.  

"I’ve got to get that goose egg off the goal, that’s a tough stat for me there," the forward said. "Every day, nothing is going to change, I still want to become a better hockey player. At the end of the day, again, the little kid in me just wants to play. I just want to be able to maximize my contributions to the team."

Howe has taken 87 PIM in 44 games with the Gulls over the 2023-2024 season. He earned his first point and assist of his AHL career on Oct. 15 at Ontario.  

Thirty years young, Howe still laces up his skates with boundless zest for the game he loves. For the seasoned Gull, each game is not only an opportunity to grow but is also a reminder that his dream is now his reality. 

With every trip to the penalty box, arms raised as the crowd roars, Howe is reassured that he’s exactly where he’s always aimed to be.  

Not only that, his character reflects exactly who he was always meant to become. 

"I’ve been able to share some great memories and going to continue to share some great memories with a lot of people here," Howe said. "I’m definitely the most grateful and happy about that."

Howe signed a one-year contract extension on Apr. 3 to stay in San Diego through at least the 2024-2025 AHL season, the city’s hockey fans can expect to see #42 back in action for another season.  

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