Template:Infobox Ice Hockey Player Bryan John Trottier (born July 17, 1956)[1] is a retired Canadian-American professional ice hockey centre who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. He won four Stanley Cups with the Islanders, two with the Penguins and one as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche.

Playing careerEdit

Nicknamed "Trots", he was drafted in 2nd Round, 22nd overall by the New York Islanders in the 1974 NHL Entry Draft. Trottier played his first fifteen seasons in the NHL with the Islanders.[2] He set an NHL rookie record of 95 points and won the Calder Trophy as the league's Rookie of the year in 1975–76. The rookie points record was broken by Peter Stastny of the Quebec Nordiques in 1980–81. Stastny was still considered a "rookie" in the NHL despite the fact he had previously played professionally in Czechoslovakia.

Trottier's best offensive season was 1978–79 when he had 134 points which earned him the Art Ross Trophy as well as the Hart Trophy as league MVP. In winning the Art Ross, he became the first player from a post-Original Six expansion team to win the award. In that same season, he led the NHL in assists with 87, which he had also done the year before with 77.

Trottier was one of the core players on the Islanders dynasty teams from the 1980s. He won four Stanley Cups during his time with the Islanders from 1980 to 1983. During the Islanders' first Stanley Cup in 1980, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. In 1981-82, Trottier scored 50 goals, the highest single-season total of his career.

Of his career in the early 80s, during which Wayne Gretzky set numerous scoring marks, Islanders' broadcaster Stan Fischler and coach Al Arbour said that Trottier was the best player over Gretzky.[3] Trottier was described as a forward possessing an all-around game including ruggedness, and there have been comparisons to Milt Schmidt, Gordie Howe, and Steve Yzerman.

Trottier was often referred to as the "glue" on the Isles team, centering his fellow stars Clark Gillies and Mike Bossy on a line known as The Trio Grande, as well as Denis Potvin and Bob Nystrom.

Undaunted by heavy criticism from fellow Canadians, Trottier chose to play for Team USA in the 1984 Canada Cup tournament, after playing for Team Canada in 1981, because he wanted to pay back the country in which he lived and because his wife was American. He was able to obtain the necessary U.S. citizenship in July 1984 because he had Métis ancestry on his father's side (Cree/Chippewa). His North American Indian Card (for which he qualified because his grandmother was a Chippewa) entitled him to citizenship in both the U.S. and Canada, as well as a U.S. passport, which was all he needed for tournament eligibility.

Unlike other star centermen, longevity was not Trottier's hallmark. Following his 13th season, Trottier's skills seemed to deteriorate precipitously, decreasing from 82 points in 1988 to 45 points just one year later, and 24 points in 1990. After that low output, Islanders management released Trottier from his contract, believing that his best years were behind him and that younger centers such as Pat LaFontaine and Brent Sutter should get his ice time. He ranks second in Islanders history in goals, and first in assists and points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins signed him as a free agent to provide experience and leadership to a young team. Trottier won the Stanley Cup for the fifth and sixth times with Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992. Trottier took the 1992–93 season off, returning to the Isles in a front office capacity, but financial troubles, stemming from bad investments, forced Trottier to return to the ice for the 1993–94 season. He retired again following a disappointing final season where he scored only 4 goals in 41 games. At the time of his retirement, his point total ranked 6th in NHL history.

Post-retirement Edit

Following his retirement, Trottier played for the Pittsburgh Phantoms of the Roller Hockey International league in its 1994 season.

Trottier was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1997.[4]

After many of his Islander teammates, including linemates Mike Bossy and Clark Gillies were honored by the Islander organization by having their numbers retired, Trottier was expected to be next. His number raised to the rafters on October 20, 2001.

After serving as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh until 1997, he took a similar position with the Colorado Avalanche, where he garnered his seventh career Stanley Cup ring in 2001. He was named as head coach of the New York Rangers in 2002, much to the ire of Islander fans. However, his stint there was short and dismal. In addition to receiving criticism from Isles fans who labeled him a traitor, he drew the rage of Ranger fans as well, who felt he misused his offensively gifted players such as Eric Lindros and Pavel Bure by having them play the neutral-zone trap (a defensive tactic used to slow down the opponent, but also limiting the user's offensive chances). Trottier was fired by general manager Glen Sather after just half a season with the Rangers.

On March 4, 2006, the New York Islanders celebrated the 26th anniversary of their first Stanley Cup championship. Trottier, apparently forgiven for his stint with the rival Rangers, was given one of the largest ovations of the evening, and was perhaps the most boisterous. He gave a familiar salute to the fans who lined up to watch a pregame "Walk of Champions" entering the building, raising both hands high above his head, reminiscent of his days playing on the Island where he would do the same to the fans cheering him on. On June 1, 2006, Trottier returned to the Islanders as Executive Director of Player Development.

Trottier is currently 15th all-time in regular season points, having been passed by Jaromír Jágr and Joe Sakic during the 2005–06 NHL season and Mark Recchi during the 2008–09 NHL season. He is 9th all-time in playoff points, and remains the Islanders all-time leader in assists and points. Trottier was named by Islanders fans as the second greatest player in franchise history, ahead of Denis Potvin and behind Mike Bossy.

Miscellanea Edit

Steve Yzerman, who was also renowned for his strong two-way play, considered Trottier his favorite player.[5] Both players wore uniform number 19 throughout their careers.

As a child, Trottier played for the Climax Hockey Team in Climax, Saskatchewan and as a minor hockey player he played for the Swift Current Broncos. [6] Trottier currently resides in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

Trottier has four children: Bryan Jr., Lindsey, Tayler, and Christian.

Coaching statisticsEdit

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Division rank Result
New York Rangers2002–03 54212661(69)4th in Atlantic(fired)

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1972–73 Swift Current Broncos WCHL 67 16 29 45 10
1973–74 Swift Current Broncos WCHL 68 41 71 112 76 13 7 8 15 8
1974–75 Lethbridge Broncos WCHL 67 46 98 144 103 6 2 5 7 14
1975–76 New York Islanders NHL 80 32 63 95 21 13 1 7 8 8
1976–77 New York Islanders NHL 76 30 42 72 34 12 2 8 10 2
1977–78 New York Islanders NHL 77 46 77 123 46 7 0 3 3 4
1978–79 New York Islanders NHL 76 47 87 134 50 10 2 4 6 13
1979–80 New York Islanders* NHL 78 42 62 104 68 21 12 17 29 16
1980–81 New York Islanders* NHL 73 31 72 103 74 18 11 18 29 34
1981–82 New York Islanders* NHL 80 50 79 129 88 19 6 23 29 40
1982–83 New York Islanders* NHL 80 34 55 89 68 17 8 12 20 18
1983–84 New York Islanders NHL 68 40 71 111 59 21 8 6 14 49
1984–85 New York Islanders NHL 68 28 31 59 47 10 4 2 6 8
1985–86 New York Islanders NHL 78 37 59 96 72 3 1 1 2 2
1986–87 New York Islanders NHL 80 23 64 87 50 14 8 5 13 12
1987–88 New York Islanders NHL 77 30 52 82 48 6 0 0 0 10
1988–89 New York Islanders NHL 73 17 28 45 44
1989–90 New York Islanders NHL 59 13 11 24 29 4 1 0 1 4
1990–91 Pittsburgh Penguins* NHL 52 9 19 28 24 23 3 4 7 49
1991–92 Pittsburgh Penguins* NHL 63 11 18 29 54 21 4 3 7 8
1993–94 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 41 4 11 15 36 2 0 0 0 0
WCJHL totals 202 103 198 301 189 19 9 13 22 22
NHL totals 1279 524 901 1425 912 221 71 113 184 277


See alsoEdit



External linksEdit

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