Bryan Trottier

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Bryan "Trots" Trottier (born July 17, 1956, in Val Marie, Saskatchewan) was a professional Ice Hockey Centre in the NHL, and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Trottier played his first fifteen seasons with the New York Islanders, and was then picked up as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Penguins where he played his remaining three seasons. Trottier won six Stanley Cups. Four for New York (1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983), and two for Pittsburgh (1991, and 1992). He was drafted by New York in 1974, and retired in 1994. His best season was 1978-79 when he had 134 points, which led the NHL that season. In the same season, he led the NHL in assists with 87, something he did the year before as well with 77 assists. In the late Seventies and early Eighties, despite Wayne Gretzky's dominance, Trottier was still universally regarded as the game's best all-around player, combining potent offense, rock-solid defense, and expert play on special teams. Unlike other prominent centers of his generation, however, such as Mark Messier and Steve Yzerman, longevity was not his hallmark. Following his 13th season, Trottier's skills remarkably seemed to deteriorate precipitously, decreasing from 82 points in 1988 to 45 points just one year later, and 24 points in 1990. His final three seasons totalled only 24 goals and 48 assists, numbers that do not compare favorably even with his rookie season. He served a stint as the head coach of the New York Rangers in the 2002-03 season.

The Team USA Controversy: Despite heavy criticism from fellow Canadians, Trottier chose to play for Team USA in the 1984 Canada Cup tournament because he wanted to pay back the country in which he lived and because his wife was American. He was able to obtain the necessary U.S. citizenship in July 1984 because he had Métis ancestry on his father's side (Cree/Chippewa). His North American Indian Card (which he qualified for because his grandmother was a Chippewa) entitled him to citizenship in both the U.S. and Canada, as well as a U.S. passport, which was all he needed for tournament eligibility.

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