Bryan Trottier reflects on his journey from small-town Saskatchewan boy to 7-time NHL champion


The Current24:09Bryan Trottier on being one of many NHL’s elite Indigenous gamers

When a younger Bryan Trottier watched the legendary Jean Béliveau carry the Stanley Cup following one in all his 10 championship wins with the Montreal Canadiens, he knew what he wished to do in life.

“I used to be sitting on somewhat blanket, and I seemed again at dad and I mentioned, ‘Dad, I would like to carry the Stanley Cup like Jean Béliveau,'” he instructed The Current‘s Matt Galloway.

“All he mentioned was like, ‘Well, you higher begin practising.'”

Suffice it to say, Trottier practised — rather a lot.

Over the course of an 18-season NHL profession, the younger boy from Val Marie, Sask., developed into one of many league’s premier centremen.

Trottier received six Stanley Cups as a participant, together with four-straight championships with the New York Islanders between 1980 and 1983, and a seventh as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.

But do not count on him to brag about his accolades.

“I’ve misplaced greater than I’ve received,” he mentioned. “But the successful simply supersedes all of the losses.”

Trottier retired almost 30 years in the past. But the 66-year-old nonetheless has a whole lot of tales to inform.

In his new guide, All Roads Home: A Life On and Off the Ice, Trottier explores the moments that formed his hockey profession — and what it was like being one of many sport’s elite Indigenous gamers. 

“All roads lead me dwelling as a result of that is the place my roots are,” he mentioned. “It taught me all the pieces about life, all the pieces that is good, all the pieces that is proud.”

“Where I come from is what I’ve right now, and hockey has been my car.”

Pride in expertise

In his new guide, Trottier explores the moments that formed his hockey profession and what it was like being one of many sport’s elite Indigenous gamers. (Submitted by Penguin Random House Canada)

Trottier’s mom was Irish, and his father was Cree Métis Chippewa.

He liked either side of his household, and mentioned he by no means felt like an “outcast” inside his mother and father’ communities.

“I felt extraordinarily welcome as a result of I believe each mother and father had been form of revered of their communities,” he mentioned. “So I did not really feel discrimination to that diploma.”

But rising up within the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, Trottier nonetheless noticed and heard others say “horrible, nasty issues” about Indigenous peoples.

Not even the hockey rink was secure, he realized. In a match in Weyburn, Sask., a younger Trottier noticed the group rooting towards an all-Indigenous staff.

“[I said,] ‘Mom, why are these folks saying all these unusual issues?'” he recalled. “That was form of an enormous, large style of it.”

Trottier mentioned his mother and father taught him and his three siblings that if folks made enjoyable of them, it is as a result of they had been jealous of their skills.

“We’re taught at an early age as properly … simply let it roll off your again as a result of all people has some form of … ethnic background — and there is ugly stigmas about all people, so simply do not get entangled in that junk,” he mentioned.

WATCH: NHL Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier on rising up with Indigenous roots

‘Discrimination to us was simply jealousy’: Bryan Trottier on rising up with Indigenous roots

NHL corridor of famer Bryan Trottier’s dad was Cree Métis Chippewa and his mother was Irish. He explains what it was like rising up in a combined atmosphere.

He needs the Indigenous stars of tomorrow to be pleased with their heritage, like his household taught him to be pleased with his.

“There’s a lot expertise in First Nations [communities] — I’m so pleased with that,” he mentioned. “So take pleasure in and use that as your car.”

Teamwork and acceptance

Trottier mentioned former NHL gamers take “nice pleasure” in being ambassadors of the game. That’s why he hopes the correct consideration is given to tales just like the current Hockey Canada scandal. 

“I’m nonetheless in Pittsburgh, so we do not get as a lot [news] on that as to make an actual nice remark,” he mentioned. “But something to do with sexual abuse? Absolutely not. It’s simply tragic.”

Hockey in Canada was rocked earlier this 12 months with the revelations of a 2018 alleged group sexual assault involving members of that 12 months’s Canadian world junior championship staff — and Hockey Canada’s dealing with of it.

Since then, main sponsors have pulled their funding from Hockey Canada. The group introduced its CEO and full board of administrators will step apart. 

Trottier holds the Stanley Cup aloft as college students in Norman Wells, N.W.T., pose for a photograph. (Deidre Hambly/Sportsnet)

But Trottier, who represented Canada on the 1975 World Junior Championship and the 1981 Canada Cup, mentioned the positives of hockey stand out greater than its negatives.

“Hockey tradition, to a level, is all about teamwork. It’s all about acceptance,” he mentioned. “It’s all about working collectively, being reliable, accountable, all these issues which have to do with want and dedication.”

“Those are the issues I consider stand out extra about hockey than the negatives.”

Produced by Howard Goldenthal.


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