Comets Tales: The "Hockey Maven" on Travis Green

by Don Laible

May 22, 2015 Stan Fischler, known as “The Hockey Maven,” serves as the resident hockey expert for MSG Networks’. Every week he can be seen on MSG Networks’ comprehensive hockey show “HOCKEY NIGHT LIVE” where he provides pre-game and post-game features and reports for the Rangers, Devils and Islanders. In 2011 Fischler collected two New York Emmy Awards, one for his weekly “Five for Fischler” segment, where he ranks five random hockey topics, and another in the Sports Reporter category. Fischler is also a regular contributor to

Follow Stan Fischler on Twitter: @StanFischler


I covered Travis from his first day as an Islander because I’ve been doing Islanders telecasts since 1975. On the afternoon of a game in Hartford (against the Whalers) I got to the visitors dressing room quite early.

At first I thought nobody was around but then I saw someone who I didn’t figure to be there. It was Travis and he said, “Hiya, Mave.” The greeting resonated with me and I liked it. Hockey Maven is fine but “Mave” is more like it and now I use “Mave” more than my name. Thanks to Travis.

In that scene, I was taken aback by his being there so early but even more amazed how carefully he was working on his stick; over and over again; meticulous like I’d never seen before.

From that point on we became friends but the friendship solidified in 1993 when my younger son Simon, then 15, underwent a heart transplant at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. While there we met the family of Mike and Karen Lentin whose son, Josh, also was getting a new heart. The Lentins were big Isles fans and we hit it off and have been pals ever since.

Mike told me that Josh and Travis had hit it off and Travis had become very attentive to their son. If I didn’t know it before I knew then that Travis was a very special, caring person.

Our friendship continued after his playing days ended and Travis became an assistant coach in Portland where my older son, Ben, and his family live. Thanks to Travis my now 12 year old grandson Ezra got to go down to the dressing room and meet many of the Winterhawks.

Although I never had really thought of Travis as a coach, I watched him in action with Portland and became more and more impressed with his cool style and savvy. It was no accident that the Winterhawks enjoyed some of their best years with Travis as assistant coach and then head coach after Mike Johnston was suspended for a year.

Green’s move to the pro ranks and Utica has been a natural progression. Last season Travis survived an awful start but stayed cool, calm and collected and eventually showed how good a coach he can be.

He’s even better this year and his record proves the point.

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