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Pro hockey player, Bryan Trottier, was born on July 17, 1956, in Val Marie, Saskatchewan, Canada. Bryan Trottier, now retired, played Canadian pro ice hockey centre during 18 seasons in the NHL for the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. He won four Stanley Cup rings with the Islanders, two with the Penguins and one as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche. Bryan Trottier was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1997.
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, but he became the topic of controversy. Trottier insisted on significant financial compensation for his appearance to retire his number 19, delaying the ceremonies for years, as he was still reeling from his financial difficulties. His number was finally raised to the rafters on October 20, 2001.
After serving as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh until 1997, Bryan Trottier took a similar position with the Colorado Avalanche, where he garnered his seventh career Stanley Cup ring in 2001. He was named as head coach of the New York Rangers in 2002, much to the ire of Islander fans. However, his stint there was short and dismal. 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). Trottier was fired by manager Glen Sather after just half a season with the Rangers.
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 Personnel.
Bryan Trottier is currently 14th all-time in regular season points, having been passed by Jaromir Jagr and Joe Sakic during the 2005-06 NHL season. He is 9th all-time in playoff points, and remains the Islanders all-time leader in assists and points. Trottier was named Islanders fans as the second greatest player in franchise history, ahead of Dennis Potvin and behind Mike Bossy.