Buffalo - September 15, 2014 - It’s hard to top the resume of Bryan Trottier.
Six-time Stanley Cup Champion, member of the 1,000 points club, hockey Hall of Fame member and both assistant and head coach at the NHL level. Most would be happy to have one of those, but there are very few who can compare to that list of accomplishments.
Since taking over the head coaching gig of the New York Rangers in 2002, Trottier took a step back from the game. His stint with the Rangers didn’t go well, seeing the team go 21-26-6-1 to start the 2002-03 campaign, leading to his dismissal. Instead of looking for a new coaching gig, Trottier focused on other things after going through the grind of the NHL season for most of his life.
“I took some time off,” Trottier told NHL.com. “In reflection, I didn’t want to be a head coach anymore. When you’re a head coach you have to have a different demeanor and I just don’t have that demeanor. I want to be a teacher and an instructor and a mentor. I want to be those things versus a lot of the other roles a head coach has to play. That’s my strength.
“It’s sometimes good to find out and say to yourself, ‘That’s not what I like to do, this is what I really like to do.’ So I got into player development with the Islanders and that was a real joy. My son was getting really involved in hockey and baseball and I took a little more time off.”
That all changed when current Sabres head coach Ted Nolan approached him about joining the staff as an assistant coach. Trottier accepted and is ready to get back to it. Despite the rust from being gone so long, he’ll be refreshed and his experiences in the NHL as both player and coach should serve a very young Buffalo outfit, coming off a 21-51-10 season and likely to be one of the worst in the league again in 2014-15, well over the course of the long season.
It might seem questionable to hire an assistant coach who hasn’t coached in 11 years, but there aren’t many more people I’d like tutoring guys like Sam Reinhart on how to be successful as pros than Trottier.
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