Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2016.2.7
Object Name Video
Title Bryan Trottier
Scope & Content 0:47Bryan Trottier. When growing up in a really small community, sports were a big part of the community, hockey in the winter, baseball in the summer. All kinds of school sports, was very good for the school, good for parents to keep them active. Just loved sports, had good friends who were good athletes. Claud Jensen, Bernie Soren, Willie Desjardins, Mike Kirk. Was fun to have uncles who were athletic. Hearing stories of his dad when he was younger and how athletic he was. The family in general, how athletic they were. Gave a sense of hope and pride that all kids have. Just the participation was the most exciting thing, evaluate self against buddies and other small towns when did the competitions. Was a really fun time. All little communities are the same, all had nervous little athletes trying to give their best, not sure what's going to happen next, nervousness and anxiety that came with it. Had good cousins who were a little bit older who were good athletes, fast runners. His dad always had a little sense of pride over the fact that Bryan's grandparents were Cree, Metis, Chippewa, which was really fun because he said Aboriginal people are great athletes, gave Bryan a sense of pride. Also said Irish people have good strength and good conditioning, all this muscle development thought he had inherited all these great qualities. Parents instilled the bloodlines in them, made him think he had a little advantage over others, but thinks it was really just his parents being parents.
3:03Biggest challenges. One was being from a really small remote town in southwest Saskatchewan. It was about finding the right level of competition as you get older. Realize that at age 14-15, there's a drop off, some kids stop playing hockey and sports and do other things. He wanted to excel and go to the next level. Finding a place to play, having to leave home, and going to Swift Current felt like he was going to the other side of the moon. That nervousness, excitement, and anxiety was a big challenge for him and his parents. Schooling was a big challenge because of travel, junior hockey had practices in the morning so missed morning classes. Fun part was that could always go back to school but could only play junior hockey for a few years, parents were very understanding. Get sense of support from community, family, so important and resonates with him. All challenges, finances, parents didn't have money but always found a way to have hockey sticks, skates, baseball gloves, whatever they needed. They did fundraising as teams, those were natural things that a lot of kids experience. Looking back he was so impressed at his parents, and the community, and how they found a way. It made them appreciate that, even more so as he got older, and how much value you put on that, and the strength of family and what you can achieve from that.
5:32Greatest accomplish were the Stanley Cups, because it is such a tough trophy to win. It takes so much dedication and a group effort, so much focus. There's the pressures, they're all fun things, but it's hard. When you achieve the ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup, the greatest trophy in the world. At 8 years old he wanted to win the Stanley Cup and raise it over his head, remember seeing Jean Beliveau holding it over his head, wanted to do the same thing. Gordie Howe was also an idol. Watched them on TV and wanted to be like they were. Didn't know how he was going to achieve this, but found a way, might have to practice a little bit. Kept following the path, finding ways and good coaches and teammates that help you along the way. Really fun times. Trophies and individual stuff is a great reflection on your teammates and the teams you've played on. Really can't control everything because some stuff is voted on by sports writers. What love about the Stanley Cup is appreciation for teammates and what they did to achieve that too. There is a bond and a 'thank you' look they give each other. Bumping into old alumni, talk about grandkids, talk about winning championships and Stanley Cups.
8:00Playing both sides of the puck, offense and defense, dad was defenseman by nature. Put Bryan on defense, so he played all the way through to junior hockey. Was a little bit on the small size. Tom Lysiak beat him twice where he scored 2 goals within 6 seconds, was the last time he played on defense. The opportunity to remember, and to gain body position, and recognize that if you keep the other team off the score board, you don't have to score as many goals. There was also the parents after the game that would praise them on great defense, or a block, poke check, or saving a goal that would get them really excited about that. There was a sense of pride of playing both ends of the puck. There was a selfishness, that was kind of looked down upon, but everyone wanted to score a bunch of goals, but they thought it was a good selfish. They would see who could set each other up for the most goals. At the end of the game they would smile at each other, pat each other on the back, and say it was your turn this game, next game we're going set somebody else up for goals. It was a fun time because all the little communities were like that. Nobody tried to run the scores. Everybody knew each other because they played each other in all kinds of sports, parents knew each other. His dad played for a lot of weddings and dances around the area, so they knew a lot of people. As competitive as they were, they were friends with all the kids in all the different communities. Remember looking back at both defensive and offensive side in game and having pride in playing both. Pride in scoring goals and helping with defense, blocking a shot and having the goalie give you recognition. Appreciation factor and a sense of self pride.
11:08Rookie season was a wonderful year for multiple reasons. The players were wonderful mentors. The players were making mistakes, but they were growing and they were all naïve enough to realize that nerves were part of game. Had recognition, take all that nervous energy and channel it to your shooting arm and your skating, and something good is going to happen. His dad always said play your heart out in every game and something good will happen. Those nerves, whether was playing in family band, getting on stage, there's anxiety and nervousness, but learn how to channel it through experience and maturity. Rookie year was an exciting time, they were going into new buildings every night, going against new competition, playing against high level legends of the game. Remembers playing against Phil Esposito, taking a face off against Stan Mikita, it was all thrilling and nervous. Learn after a while that you can't let them beat you, you learn to become a professional. Teammates were so important, having communication, have to work together, having older veterans on team to help along. NY Islanders were a young team, got really involved in the community. Lived with a family the first year, didn't have to worry about chores. Hockey team is really like a family. First year was really important, great team, fun memories. Was nervous, but all the experiences growing up through junior hockey, learned how to channel all those nerves. They're just nerves, still have to go out and perform to best of ability.
15:01Mentorship helps every young athlete, like any apprentice in a job going to learn tricks of the trade, learn faster, learn that there is a professional side, and how to channel things in the right way. Like having a father with you all the time. Liked having Tiger Williams and Clark Gillies as big brothers. Liked having all these big brothers to watch and see how they do things. Also had wonderful coaches Earl Ingarfield, Stan Dunn for junior hockey. Great important mentors. Dad and mom and grandparents, teachers. Mentors help you find another level of determination and desire. You want to be a good student while they are mentoring you, want to absorb as much as you can. Find that you will gravitate towards people that you think are giving the right type of mentoring. Think it's so important in hockey because it's a team sport, not individual.
17:37Most memorable thing about being on NY Islanders and Pittsburg Penguins are characters on the team who are his best friends, have a bond together. Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis, Joe Mullen, Jaromir Jagr, Kevin Stevens, Mark Recchi, Dennis Potvin, Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, Billy Smith, Bobby Nystrom. Not a guy on the team he doesn't love like a brother. Those are his best memories, all the fun stuff on the ice. A lot of fun memories off the ice as well. Practice, locker room, teasing, camaraderie, and that's what builds a team. Going out to dinner, talking about growing up, recognizing the European culture and the value and skills they bring.
19:15Got into coaching for multiple reasons. Felt like was mentoring new younger players coming into the League with Pat LaFontaine, a young Mike Bossy. Was fun when the young players would gravitate to Bryan. Enjoyed sharing information and the teaching aspect. Even working back in Swift Current at a hockey school. Tiger Williams and him were young instructors at 15-16 years old. Working with young athletes, telling them it was the greatest game in the world making them feel excited. Working their very best, telling them to go as fast as they could and still be in control. These fun things carried on to his professional career, so when he was done playing was talking to Craig Patrick who asked him if he ever thought about getting into coaching, and Bryan said he wasn't done playing yet, he said he could be a player coach. That transition helped him recognize the value, and wanting to share experiences that might stick with the next generation of hockey players. He roomed with Jaromir Jagr, Mark Recchi, Kevin Stevens when they were just young 18-20 year olds and they were just big eyes and big ears like the little kids he had taught in Swift Current. They were young athletes that wanted to hear stories, the fun things that happen as you go through the playoffs and what to anticipate. They're so focused and eager to learn. That was exciting, recognizing that you could say something in a game, and a player comes up during a game and asks a question, you give him an answer, and they come back and smile when they score a goal or something works out. Those are the little things of coaching that make it really fun. Fun to see a young athlete get to excel and become the best they can be, and you might have a little bit to do with it. That's satisfying for any coach.
22:04Most proud of. When people associate his name with someone who gave a best effort, came to play every night, inspired his teammates, brought the fans out of their seats scoring a big goal or celebrating when a teammate won a big goal. Those are the fun things he is so proud of. All over Canada especially, the young athletes sharing stories and seeing the pride that he has in the kind of game he played. You're going to get beat once and a while, he lost more than he won, but feel good about what he did win. Felt satisfied in the effort he gave, coaches would come up after and saying thanks for playing your best. Parents would say they were proud of him
23:54Values. Most of values are plain family values. Caring, work hard, give best effort. Grade he got on his report card for effort was more important than any other grade. Values of being dependable, coming to rink and respecting teammates. Being reliable and finding a way to inspire, and finding a way to help your team. Be able to look at yourself and say you have no regrets. It's not done to get it done, its done to get it done right. Community and reflection on your community. His community had a lot of values that came from farmer and rancher type of life. It's in a lot of Canadian to have a sense of Canadian pride. That speaks volumes on the game of hockey. Carry them as a team as well as individually. Proud of where from, where he grew up, Canadian heritage in general, school and family. Whether Irish or Native American think everyone has those values that carry us of where we are born and where our friends are.
26:30Gets a chance to talk to a lot of young athletes and students around Canada, especially remote communities and Aboriginal communities. One message he would like to leave with them is to make healthy choices. There's food, there's distractions, staying up late, playing on the computer, video games. There's fun things you can do, but there's healthy choices you have to make along the way. The three main are rest, exercise, and, diet. Beyond that you will find your path in life. Ask good questions along the way. "In hockey, for example, not everybody can be the best player, but everybody on the team can be the best teammate". That's achievable through encouragement, hussle, coming out and doing your very best. Message is to make healthy choices, be the best you can possibly be, and if you find yourself making a mistake, make another decision and get out of there. "It's what you do after you make the mistake sometimes that's going to be your legacy". For him not everything he did was perfect, there were some pitfalls and you don't want it to define you, want to be recognized as something more. Good thing about life is you get multiple different chances, so try to make the best possible choices you can.
28:41Being inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is the highest honour you can get from a birth nation. See it as where he was born, grew up, learned how to play hockey, where he went to school and learned values. All the friendships, customs, reflections on whole nation. He is so proud, and proud of Canadian roots. Proud that hockey is considered Canada's gift to the world and he gets to be a small part in that. So proud of Canadian heritage and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame family.

Year Range from 1970
Year Range to 2016
Subjects 1980, 1981, 1982, 1991, 1992, 2001 Stanley Cup
Search Terms Community, pride, teamwork/ team player, adaptablility/ versatility, mentoring, hard work, work ethic, dependability