(Long Island, NY) The full page ad the other day in New York Newsday said it all- Welcome home Bryan. One of the all-time great New York Islanders, Bryan Trottier, is back with the team. It doesn’t even matter in what capacity. In case you want to know the official title he has been given, it is Executive Director of Player Development. But that is not what’s important. The main thing is that the moribund franchise was vastly improved just by having one of their legendary figures brought back.
To have a Hall of Famer who is the proud owner of six Stanley Cup championship rings as part of your franchise would be a significant move towards improvement. Factor in that four of those Cups were won as a member of the Islanders, along with the prime years that earned him the Hall of Fame distinction.
With a team needing to bring a little spark back to the Nassau Coliseum, this is a very smart move. The fans that long for the days of the Islanders dynasty in the early 1980s have a face and a name to give them some hope.
Grouped with Clark Gillies and Mike Bossy, Trottier and the Islanders were the class of the NHL with four consecutive Stanley Cups. The team has had some good moments since then, but not enough. To have some connection to that era, the present day Islanders can only benefit from it.
Trots’ career is like one big highlight reel. He won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie in 1975-76. He was the league MVP in 1978-79. During the Islanders’ first championship post season run, Trottier won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. He scored 50 goals in the 1981-82 season. In the Islanders’ dynasty years (1980-1983), he was integral part of all four championships. He went on to win two more Cups in Pittsburgh in the 1990’s. His number 19 was retired by the Islanders in 2001. He is much more than a former player working with his old team.
Trottier has experience from his days as an Assistant Coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche. He also was the Head Coach of the New York Rangers for part of the 2002 season. Seeing him behind the Rangers bench was like having Lawrence Taylor wearing a Jets jersey. It just didn’t seem right and the results were not positive, either.
But to have him back home, as a New York Islander, employed at the Nassau Coliseum, that is picture perfect.