Bryan Trottier

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Bryan Trottier
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1997
Bryan Trottier.jpg
Born(1956-07-17) July 17, 1956 (age 57)
Val Marie, SK, CAN
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
PositionCentre
ShotLeft
Played forNew York Islanders
Pittsburgh Penguins
National team Canada 
 United States
NHL Draft22nd overall, 1974
New York Islanders
WHA Draft18th overall, 1974
Cincinnati Stingers
Playing career1975–1994
 
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Bryan Trottier
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1997
Bryan Trottier.jpg
Born(1956-07-17) July 17, 1956 (age 57)
Val Marie, SK, CAN
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
PositionCentre
ShotLeft
Played forNew York Islanders
Pittsburgh Penguins
National team Canada 
 United States
NHL Draft22nd overall, 1974
New York Islanders
WHA Draft18th overall, 1974
Cincinnati Stingers
Playing career1975–1994

Bryan John Trottier (born July 17, 1956)[1] is a retired Canadian 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. He holds the NHL record for points in a single period with 6 (4 goals, 2 assists) in the second period against the Rangers on Dec. 23, 1978.[2] He is also one of only eight NHL players with multiple 5-goal games.[3]

Playing career[edit]

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.[4] 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.

During the early 1980s when Wayne Gretzky set numerous scoring marks, Islanders' broadcaster Stan Fischler and coach Al Arbour nonetheless maintained that Trottier was the best player over Gretzky. Trottier was described as a forward possessing an all-around game including ruggedness and defensive responsibility, and there have been comparisons to Milt Schmidt, Gordie Howe, and Steve Yzerman. Arbour stated "Gretzky is an offensive genius for sure. But at this stage Trots gives you more things. Defensively, he's outstanding. And he's physically tough. He comes up with his 100 points a year, automatically, along with everything else!"[5]

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. While the 1977–78 season was Bossy's rookie year, the Trio Grande at one point led the NHL in scoring above the top lines of the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Rockies.[6] Other linemates that played with Trottier also included John Tonelli, Bob Bourne, Bob Nystrom, as well as a few others. However, Trottier was most known for his dynamic on-ice partnership with Mike Bossy during his prime years with the Islanders until Bossy's early retirement at the end of the 1987 season. 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. It could be noted, however, that even as Trottier's scoring declined he remained effective in body checking and defensive abilities.[7]

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 with the Penguins 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.[8]

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 19 was raised to the rafters on October 20, 2001.

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 16th all-time in regular season points, having been passed by Jaromír Jágr and Joe Sakic during the 2005–06 NHL season, Mark Recchi during the 2008–09 NHL season and Teemu Selanne during the 2012-13 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.

Coaching[edit]

After serving as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh until 1997, he took a similar position with the Colorado Avalanche, where he won his seventh career Stanley Cup in 2001. He was named as head coach of the New York Rangers in 2002, much to the ire of Islander fans. However, his brief stint with the Rangers lasted only 54 games, slightly longer than the halfway mark of the season. 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). At the time of his dismissal at the hands of general manager Glen Sather, Bryan Trottier had coached 54 games with the New York Rangers and the team had a record of 21–26–6–1 and a winning percentage of 45.4%.[9]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Steve Yzerman, who was also renowned for his strong two-way play, considered Trottier his favorite player.[10] He wore the number 19 in honor of Trottier.

Of Trottier's 18 seasons in the NHL, he missed taking part in the post-season only once. The lone miss occurred during the 1988–89 season, when his Islanders team failed to qualify for the playoffs. Trottier sits 11th all-time with 184 playoff points on the strength of 71 goals (T-16th) and 113 assists (15th) in 221 games played (10th). As of the end of the 2012–13 season there are no active NHL players in the top 25 all time in playoff points to challenge Trottier's position. His 184 playoff points puts Trottier between two great players from the Detroit Red Wings, Steve Yzerman just ahead of him with 185 pts, and Nicklas Lidstrom just one behind at 183 points.

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.[11] Trottier currently resides in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

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

Awards[edit]

Coaching statistics[edit]

TeamYearRegular seasonPost season
GWLTOTLPtsDivision rankResult
New York Rangers2002–0354212661494th in Atlantic(fired)

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIMGPGAPtsPIM
1972–73Swift Current BroncosWCHL6716294510
1973–74Swift Current BroncosWCHL684171112761378158
1974–75Lethbridge BroncosWCHL674698144103625714
1975–76New York IslandersNHL8032639521131788
1976–77New York IslandersNHL76304272341228102
1977–78New York IslandersNHL7746771234670334
1978–79New York IslandersNHL764787134501024613
1979–80New York Islanders*NHL784262104682112172916
1980–81New York Islanders*NHL733172103741811182934
1981–82New York Islanders*NHL80507912988196232940
1982–83New York Islanders*NHL8034558968178122018
1983–84New York IslandersNHL6840711115921861449
1984–85New York IslandersNHL6828315947104268
1985–86New York IslandersNHL783759967231122
1986–87New York IslandersNHL802364875014851312
1987–88New York IslandersNHL7730528248600010
1988–89New York IslandersNHL7317284544
1989–90New York IslandersNHL591311242941014
1990–91Pittsburgh Penguins*NHL5291928242334749
1991–92Pittsburgh Penguins*NHL6311182954214378
1993–94Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL41411153620000
WCJHL totals202103198301189199132222
NHL totals1279524901142591222171113184277

Records and Achievements[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Legends of Hockey – The Legends – Honoured Player – Trottier, Bryan". Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. The Learning Edge Corporation. 2001-2007. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  2. ^ "List of NHL records (individual)". Wikipedia. 
  3. ^ "List of players with five or more goals in an NHL game". Wikipedia. 
  4. ^ "Bryan Trottier – Biography". Internet Movie Database Inc. 1990-2007. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  5. ^ nyislanderslegends
  6. ^ "Three Islanders Unto Themselves". CNN. December 12, 1977. 
  7. ^ nyislanderslegends
  8. ^ "Legends of Hockey – Induction Showcase – Mario Lemieux". Bryan John Trottier, Player Category , Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. The Learning Edge Corporation. 2001-2007. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  9. ^ http://www.hockey-reference.com/coaches/trottbr01c.html
  10. ^ http://www.globesports.com
  11. ^ http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/trottier_bryan_1956-.html

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Bob Gainey
Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy
1980
Succeeded by
Butch Goring
Preceded by
Guy Lafleur
Winner of the Hart Trophy
1979
Succeeded by
Wayne Gretzky
Preceded by
Guy Lafleur
Winner of the Art Ross Trophy
1979
Succeeded by
Marcel Dionne
Preceded by
Eric Vail
Winner of the Calder Trophy
1976
Succeeded by
Willi Plett
Preceded by
Lanny McDonald
Winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy
1989
Succeeded by
Kevin Lowe
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tony Esposito
NHLPA President
October 24, 1984 – November 9, 1992
Succeeded by
Doug Wilson
Preceded by
Ron Low
Head coach of the New York Rangers
2002–03
Succeeded by
Glen Sather