Washington Capitals forward Travis Boyd lives with his girlfriend Kelsey DeGonda and their daughter Hayden. Just like Alex Ovechkin, Boyd collects hockey memorabilia and has begun decorating his place with special hockey gear.
“Travis has always wanted to have a man cave filled with hockey memorabilia,” Kelsey said in an interview. “Last summer, he started by getting a jersey framed from everywhere he has played. Ever since the Stanley Cup photos came out, I know he really wanted to frame a picture of himself with the Stanley Cup so I thought it would be special and unique to do a painting instead of just framing a picture.”
So Kelsey reached out to local painter of the (hockey) stars, Taylor Kampa Olson of TKO Paintings. Taylor’s done commission work for Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, the Oshies, Tom Wilson, Lars Eller, and Carl Hagelin.
“It was a week before Valentine’s Day,” Kelsey said. “I kept seeing portraits being done by Taylor and I loved her work so I asked her if she would be willing to do that for me as a surprise gift to Travis. She said yes.”
“Because I asked Taylor a week before Valentine’s Day, I knew it wouldn’t be done in time so I just told Travis, ‘You have a Valentine’s Day gift coming, but it won’t be ready by Valentine’s Day,'” Kelsey continued. “I just kept telling him you’re going to love it, trust me. He is very impatient.”
On Thursday, Kelsey picked up the painting and finally had the chance to surprise Travis.
“As soon as he saw it, he was smiling so big!” Kelsey said. “He was speechless and said it was the most special gift he’d ever received.”
Travis beamed in a picture Kelsey posted on social media.
“I was so happy when Kelsey asked me to paint that special moment for Travis!” Taylor said. “She is the absolute sweetest.”
While the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup in 2018 was a dream come true, Travis has found that the experience has motivated him even more to win a second championship. Boyd’s rookie season was in 2017-18. He played eight games and scored his first NHL point against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 18, 2018. During the playoffs, Boyd played in one game, but it was important: the Capitals’ huge Game Six victory over the Penguins that advanced Washington to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time in two decades. Boyd replaced an injured Nicklas Backstrom in the lineup and centered the third line, skating with Devante-Smith Pelly and Brett Connolly.
The Capitals would go on to defeat Tampa in seven games and the Vegas Golden Knights in five to win its first championship. Despite playing a game in the postseason, Boyd’s name ultimately wasn’t engraved on the Stanley Cup (nor was Nathan Walker’s) because he was not a full-time roster player during the season and did not play in the Stanley Cup Final.
“As far as the Cup experience, that was something so surreal we will never forget that,” Kelsey said. “It was even crazier for us because we moved up to DC full time halfway through the year and it was our first Stanley Cup playoff experience. Being able to win the Stanley Cup only made that year even more surreal. Hopefully, we get a chance to win it all again because for how cool it was, we weren’t able to get a day with the Cup and Travis wasn’t able to get his name on it.”
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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