Tonight is Bryan Trottier Night at Nassau Coliseum, where the New York Islanders will pay tribute to the franchise's all-time points leader. Trottier won six Stanley Cups as a player, including two with tonight's opponent, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Before each of these nights this year the Islanders have held media opportunities with the featured guest. Above is the IslesTV video of Trottier's 15-minute Q&A with media, when he talked about coming up with the Islanders, the chemistry on their dynasty team, the connection to the community, and remembering J.P. Parise.
Below are a few excerpts.
On Tribute Nights Like These
"Anytime we have these kinds of celebrations on Long Island, they really grab your heart, tug at those strings that bring back great memories. Terrific cheers, and the added fun of having Pittsburgh here, with the friends and memories I've had with both teams. I'm thankful the Islanders grabbed this date."
On Nassau Coliseum
"You know, it's kind of where I grew up. I came here when I was 19. It was the building I wanted to play in, be a part of its history. And now it has that history. Every time I come back, it's just great to talk about those memories with whoever wants to. It's fun to reminisce."
"I wasn't a big part of the 1975 comeback [when the Isles overcame a 3-0 series deficit to stun the Penguins], but I was here as a young drafted kid, so I got to experience the atmosphere of this building. So that grabbed me -- I wanted to be a part of that -- the elation of the crowd, the atmosphere, and the locker room. I still remember J.P. Parise, Jude Drouin, Ed Westfall, young players like Clark Gillies, I thought, 'God, I have to be a part of this.'"
"Any time I get a chance to come back and hear the cheers of Long Island, whether they're for the days of the past or for the current team, it's wonderful to see this place rocking."
"[Seeing it replaced] is like a lot of buildings: It's a little sad, and also a little exciting. ... I'm right there with the rest of the people who are going to be sad about the Coliseum. But I'm also hopeful that Brooklyn will be great and exciting for the organization."
On the Long Island Community
"We felt like Long Island embraced us. We wanted to just dive right into the communities and be a part of everything. The invitations just never seemed to stop.The people just made us feel like such a part of Long Island… We felt like we were a bigger reflection of the Long Island identity. One of acceptance and wonderful loyalty."
On John Tavares and Comparisons to Him
"Holy cow, can he stickhandle, can he score. He generates and he’s tireless on the puck. It’s wonderful to see him have the success he’s having. If you folks are kind enough to see a little of my game in John’s game and vice versa, great."
On Parting with the Islanders, and Stories Since
"You know, when you leave an organization in 1990, you're hurting a little bit. But time has a way of making that pain go away. It's been wonderful.
"Some of those things that were said over the years I chuckle about. But you can't go up to people and say, 'That didn't happen. I never said that,' -- because they don't believe it. Because someone wrote it. They'd report things I'd never say about the organization. But every time they've reached out, I picked up the phone and we talked."
"I'm thankful to Charles Wang [for this night]. It was just, 'let's pick a date.'"
Trottier scored 1353 points (500 goals, 853 assists) in 1123 regular season games as an Islander. He added 64 goals and 106 assists in 175 playoff games with the Islanders. Overall including his three seasons with the Penguins, the Hall of Famer finished with 1425 regular season points and 184 playoff points.
In a word: Hockey deity.