No hockey means more farming for Flyers' Travis Sanheim


Travis Sanheim will never forget his roots.

Playing in the NHL hasn't taken the kid or farmer out of the Elkhorn, Manitoba, native.

The Flyers' 24-year-old defenseman loves hockey and farming. Sanheim's father Kent Sanheim instilled agriculture in his son, who is currently living in Brandon, Manitoba, about a one-hour drive from his hometown of Elkhorn.

With the 2019-20 NHL season at a halt because of the coronavirus outbreak, Sanheim is eager to take advantage of the time.

"We have a family farm," Sanheim said Thursday on NBC Sports Philadelphia's Flyers Talk podcast. "That's just something that I've grown up with, my dad has done it his whole life, so he taught us at a young age to work and work on the farm.

"We've been running tractors and combines and helping out as much as we can. I remember when we were younger and harvest, having to miss school days and stay home and get the crops off. When I switched to junior [hockey] and had to leave in August, I wasn't able to do the harvest anymore. But since playing in the NHL, I don't really have to go back until September, so I try to get as much as I can in while I'm still here.

"Actually right now, we're going to start seeding hopefully next week, so I can definitely help out right now."

The 2014 first-round pick has emerged as one of the Flyers' top offensive blueliners. Over the past two seasons, Sanheim leads Flyers defensemen in assists (43) and is second in points (60) to only Ivan Provorov (62). But Sanheim doesn't just enjoy playing hockey. If there's a game on, he's likely watching or checking in on it. If there's a trade, his teammates go to him for the details.

They have a TSN insider nickname for Sanheim.

"The guys in the dressing room seem to call me Bob McKenzie," Sanheim said. "Any sort of news that they need, they usually try to run it by me and see if I've got anything. I just enjoy watching it, you like to stay up to date, I like to know what's going on. I'm always on Twitter or watching games on TV or stuff like that. I stay up to date, I enjoy what's going on and that's just something when I was younger that I liked to do."

Right now, if his teammates need the latest scoop, they can ask Sanheim in the Flyers' group text message chain, which is quite active during the hiatus and spearheaded by Kevin Hayes.

"Hayesy for sure is the one that keeps it going," Sanheim said. "Every day I think he writes in there that he misses the boys. There's a lot of chatter going on in there, especially as of late with everything that's going on. But lots of laughs, lots of videos and stuff like that that's getting thrown in there.

"We're still staying in touch and there are a lot of character guys on our team that tend to make everyone laugh."

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