Status: Hall of Fame New York Islanders center
HT: 5-foot-11 WT: 195 pounds
DOB: July 17, 1956 In: Val Marie, Sask.
Hockey Inspirations: “Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, my father Buzz. He taught me a lot of skills and also strategy, mind games – that kind of thing.”
Nicknames: “I’ve only been called Trottier or Trots. One of the two.”
Hobbies/Leisure Activities: “Play music as a kid, play guitar.”
Musical Tastes: “Country, ‘50s and ‘60s, Blues, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard. I love live entertainers. It could be the worst kind of music and I’m still impressed at how they can get in front of an audience and entertain. I loved to go to the kids school plays.”
Favorite Movies: “Too many. Braveheart – passionate movie. Lots of comedies.”
First Hockey Memory: “Driving in a blizzard and not even caring because we were going to a hockey game. I remember vividly, in one game, my dad saying, ‘You’re playing defense.’ And I scored two goals and I couldn’t stay back there. The puck was in the corner and I’d be in the corner. The puck was in front of the net and I’d be in front of the net. My dad was yelling something at me, ‘Bryan! You’re playing defense!’ I could always hear his voice over all the other voices.”
Favorite Meal: “Pasta – could eat it every day and not get tired of it. Salad. Lots of vegetables. Spinach – not because I like it, but because it’s good for me.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Vanilla.”
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Rice Krispies.”
Pre-Game Feeling: “Think about very little. Concentrate very little on the opponent. I knew the other team was preparing hard for me. So that got me pumped up. But I didn’t dwell on it.”
Childhood Dream: “Believe it or not, I thought, at some particular point that I’d be a professional hockey player. That was a dream, fantasy, one day…to play in the NHL. My dad always said, ‘Just go out and have fun.’ I think he did a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff, like talking to coaches about scholarships and to general managers. But we never went into that.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “When Bobby Nystrom scored the overtime goal against Philadelphia (to clinch the Stanley Cup in 1980). When I became a champion for the first time. I was on the bench…watched the whole play develop. All I remember is hopping over the boards and falling flat on my face. I was so tired…drained…relieved. Kenny Morrow picked me up. I just held on to him for like five minutes. You didn’t realize how tense it was, how much pressure there was until it was over. Gave it everything I had. Felt so tired, relieved. Then we realized the jubilation, the ecstasy.”
Most Painful Moment: “Never really had a physical pain during the game. Emotionally – it was when we lost the Cup to Edmonton in 1984. That was as painful an experience as you can get. Getting that close to lose (in five games) – I’d rather have lost in the first round. In hindsight, that’s how it felt. It took about two days to get over. I thought the Islanders fans wouldn’t love us anymore. I remember I went downtown and someone yelled, ‘Get ‘em next year Trots!’ That was cool. My kids still called me dad the next day. That was cool.”
Worst Injury: “Never had any bad ones. I lucked out. Knee, shoulder – I never missed more than a week here or there. Had a broken jaw once at the end of the year. Didn’t miss any games. Puck on the jaw when Denis (Potvin) shot a pass across the ice. Healed quick. Had all summer.”
Closest NHL Friend: “Mike Bossy.”
Funniest Player(s) Encountered: “Mike Bossy. He could tell me the same story 10 times and I’d laugh at it every time. Good friend, funny guy, great athlete.”
Toughest Competitors: “Larry Robinson. So big and strong, gentle and tough at the same time. The worst kind of guy to play against. He’d beat you up in more ways than one – physically and with his talent. Darryl Sittler. He played like he hated to lose. Played both ends. Real strong all around game. Just when you thought he was down, he’d come back.”
Funny Hockey Memory: “There were so many of those. One time Al Arbour called us dogs after a game on the road. To make his point he put a plate of dog biscuits on the buffet table at our next pre-game meal. Then Stefan Persson bit into one, thinking it was a cookie.”
Favorite Athletes To Watch: “Cal Ripken. Nolan Ryan – people who have maintained excellence for a long time. I have great respect for that. The way they projected themselves, the things they say – very positive. Very self-demanding individuals, all within the realm of teamwork. Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe. There’s a higher level of concentration in individual sports. I paid a lot of attention to them.”
Career Accomplishments: Won six Stanley Cups – four with the New York Islanders (1979-80 – 1982-83) and two with the Pittsburgh Penguins (1990-91 and 1991-92); NHL plus-minus leader 1979; NHL scoring leader in 1979 (47 goals, 87 assists, 134 points); Played in NHL All-Star Game 1976, ‘78, ‘80, ‘82, ‘83, ‘85, ’86 and ‘92; NHL playoffs scoring leader in 1980 and ‘82; Scored 524 NHL goals with 901 assists for 1,425 points in 1,279 regular season games; NHL career spanned from 1975-1994; Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.
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