You can love the way Travis Dermott plays, you can hate it, or you can be indifferent. But I’m here to argue that what you cannot deny is that he is, off the ice, by far the most lovable goofball on the Toronto Maple Leafs current roster.
I want to disclaim, before I begin making my case, that there was a picture of Travis on vacation a few years ago in a Speedo, with cornrows in his hair. While some Twitter users suggested this to me as an example of Travis’ affable, goofball personality, I have to disagree. Cornrows are a hairstyle that carries deep meaning to Black people, and when white people or people from other cultures mimic this style it is a form of cultural appropriation and insensitivity. Travis was rightfully called out on this by many, and I am hopeful that he learned from that experience.
Aside from that instance, though, there are countless examples of Travis’ fun-loving, easygoing, carefree personality that we can point to when arguing that he’s the most lovable goofball on the team. I put a call out on Twitter (as mentioned above) and received so many suggestions, I might not even get to them all.
Let’s start with my personal favourite: the Wonder Bread interview. If you haven’t seen this short video, where Travis is interviewed by a kid reporter over sandwiches, you need to check it out:
It’s not a surprise that Travis gets along so well with kids – since he’s basically an overgrown one himself.
There’s also the iconic Travis moment, after the Toronto Marlies won the Calder Cup, where he proclaimed that the first thing he would do when they got to the dressing room was kiss every teammate on the mouth:
time for the most iconic travis dermott moment pic.twitter.com/Gn1ZOXhc1X
— christmitch marney ❄️ (@marnylandersen) October 23, 2020
Or how about that time he interrupted legendary Leafs reporter Paul Hendrick’s shoot about Travis, delighting Henny (and everyone):
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 30, 2019
Not convinced yet? Okay, check out these gifs of Travis and his grandmother – Grandma Derm – who became a team legend on the Role Models Trip this past season.
Have I got you? If not (and even if yes), might I put forth his reaction when he scored his first NHL goal?
Travis Dermott and Justin Holl had a night to remember during a 2018 game against the Islanders. Both scored their first NHL goals with their dads in the stands. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/j4IV6ZO3NU
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) June 3, 2020
How about his honesty and frank candidness in an interview when coach Mike Babcock was fired and replaced with Sheldon Keefe?
"I think we are just ready for a different vibe"
"Boys want to play for him (Keefe)"
Travis Dermott pre-game interview. pic.twitter.com/TmruRnoc0g
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) November 22, 2019
If you aren’t yet convinced, I suggest you check out his Instagram page. On it, you’ll find such endearing posts as goodbye tributes to teammates, pictures of his absolutely adorable dogs, a nod to the time he and Zach Hyman were injury buddies, and more.
Oh, and have I mentioned he’s the coordinator of the Marlies/Leafs jam band?
Travis isn’t only a goofball, though. He’s lovable, too. And one of the reasons he’s so lovable (aside from how soft and sweet he is with kids and dogs) is that he’s committed to using his voice for good causes:
Toronto Tiny Shelters https://t.co/sjNTRc0qvq
— Travis Dermott (@Travis_Dermott) November 23, 2020
If this journey through why Travis Dermott is so lovable and goofy hasn’t succeeded in bringing you into the Travis Dermott fan club, I’m not sure what will. But rest assured, that club is packed with fans who appreciate Travis’ openness, his fun-loving attitude, his commitment to good causes, and his free spirit. I know I’d love to see more of Travis’ personality next season, whenever that is. While his on-ice play might spark debate, Travis Dermott as the Leafs’ most lovable goofball is set in stone.