Bryan Trottier - Causes Stir With Canada Cup Decision
Causes Stir with Canada Cup Decision
The 1980 Stanley Cup victory was to be only the first of four consecutive wins for the Islanders in the early 1980s. In 1981 Trottier played in the Canada Cup. During the 1981-1982 regular season, he tallied a career-high 50 goals, and in the playoffs, he collected a total of 29 points to lead the league in post-season scoring. In 1984 Trottier stunned the hockey world—particularly its sizeable Canadian contingent—with the announcement that he would play for the United States rather than Canada in the Canada Cup competition. He was booed mercilessly by Canadian fans during Canada Cup play.
Although his numbers progressively fell for the remainder of the 1980s, Trottier stayed with the Islanders until 1990 when he was signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins hoped the addition of Trottier to their lineup would bolster their playoff chances, and their hunch proved correct. Joining other Penguin stars such as Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, Trottier helped power Pittsburgh to two consecutive Stanley Cup victories. After the Penguins' second Stanley Cup win in 1992, Trottier retired as a player and took a desk job in the front office of the Islanders. After sitting out the 1992-1993 season, Trottier decided he'd had enough of the front office and returned to the Penguins as a player for the 1993-1994 season. He played 41 games with the team while also acting as assistant coach. At the end of the season, he finally hung up his skates for good but continued as assistant coach until 1997. He worked as head coach for the Portland Pirates of the AHL for the 1997-1998 season, after which he moved to the Colorado Avalanche as assistant coach until 2002. The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 2001.
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997, Trottier was one of the top candidates for the head coaching job with the New York Rangers. In announcing that the job would go to Trottier, Rangers' general manager Glen Sather said: "Since joining the coaching ranks in 1994, Bryan Trottier has demonstrated the same type of passion, determination, and knowledge of the game that he displayed during his Hall of Fame playing career. I am confident that he is the ideal leader for the New York Rangers." In taking the Rangers' job, Trottier became the fifth member of the Islanders' dynasty to become an NHL head coach, joining Lorne Henning, Butch Goring, Greg Gilbert, and Duane Sutter.