CBCSports.ca periodically wishes a happy birthday to athletes and others
involved in the sports world that have left a lasting legacy on their
game. Today, we say "Happy 57th" to Bryan Trottier, one of the NHL's
most decorated centremen.
One of the best two-way centres
to play the game, Bryan Trottier's list of accomplishments in the game of hockey speaks volumes to what kind of player (and person) he is:
- Seven Stanley Cup wins (six as a player, one as an assistant coach with the Avalanche).
- Calder Trophy winner as the NHL's top rookie in 1976.
- Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy winner in 1979.
- Scored 524 goals and had 901 assists for 1,425 points in 1,279 career games.
- King Clancy Trophy winner in 1989 for his charity work.
- Named an NHL all-star on eight occasions.
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.
- Plays a mean "Folsom Prison Blues" on skates.
Trottier was drafted as an underage player at age 17 by the New York Islanders in 1974, making his NHL debut one season later. In the 1975-76 season, the Val Marie, Sask., native scored 32 goals and 63 assists, eclipsing the previous records for assists and points by a rookie set by Marcel Dionne, and earning Trottier the Calder win.
Soon after, Trottier was joined on the Isles by pure goal-scorer Mike Bossy. Along with winger Clark Gillies, they formed the "Trio Grande" line
, one of the best tandems the game has ever seen:
Noted for his pinpoint passes (one season he was credited with 87 helpers), "Trots" also knew how to score, as Boston's Doug Keans found out mere seconds into this contest:
Trottier still holds the record for most points scored in a single period (four goals, two assists for six points), and is one of only eight NHLers to have scored five goals in a game on more than one occasion.
After hoisting the Stanley Cup four times with the Islanders during their early '80s dynasty, Trottier's point totals started to drop off further into the decade, and he was soon on the outs on Long Island.
Signed as a free agent by Pittsburgh for the 1990-91 season, Trottier lent a veteran presence to the Penguins' Stanley Cup teams of the early '90s, as he explained here in 1991:
After those two Cups, he hung up his skates before returning for a farewell tour of sorts in the 1993-94 season, playing 41 games with the Penguins before officially calling it quits.
Trottier then moved behind the bench, becoming an assistant coach with the Penguins before heading to Colorado to pick up his seventh Cup win in 2001.
After that, he became the head coach of the New York Rangers in 2002, but lasted less than a season. As you could expect, Islanders fans weren't exactly pleased
with his decision to join their arch-rivals.
In lieu of singing happy birthday, help salute Trottier and fellow July 17 birthday boy Darude with this omnipresent NHL stadium anthem:
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