Islanders legend Bryan Trottier had one of the most illustrious NHL careers of all time. And in an article posted today at The Players' Tribune, the pro athlete soap box site founded by Derek Jeter, Trottier figuratively travels back in time to speak to his younger self about the glory and danger that lies ahead.
Every paragraph is gold. Stop now and read the whole thing. Trust me, you have nothing better to do (especially if you've been demanding a coach firing since 7:30 this morning).
Trottier starts the tale at Swift Current, with a quick note about junior teammate Tiger Williams punching a referee in a game. Things get even better from there.
On his introduction to the Islanders in 1975:
The best way I explain it is this. At your first Islanders training camp in '75, you're going to walk into the locker room and see Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, J.P. Parise. Grown men. Grizzled NHL vets. The guys from TV. Half the team is going to be smoking cigarettes in the "smoking section" in the corner of the room. And you're just a kid.
On the eventual Islanders Dynasty:
In 1980, you're going to lift the Stanley Cup for the first time. I don't want to spoil too much of that run for you, but here's what's so incredible about it: Even now, 35 years later, you're going to remember every single detail of it, from the moment the game-winning goal hits the back of the net to the moment you go to bed that night. The weight of the Cup. The way the engraved names on its rings felt on your fingertips. The way the champagne tasted. The awful smell of the jerseys. If you think you know how fun it will be, multiply that by 100. But it's not just about fun. It touches parts of your soul that you cannot imagine. It's not about you. It's about your teammates. It's about everyone who got you to that moment.
Pretty cool, huh? One small thing, though. There's this thing in the future called YouTube. I know this is hard to wrap your head around, since you currently only have one TV channel, but hear me out. Watch what you say on the ice, kid. You're going to be so hyped up to beat the Minnesota North Stars in the ‘91 Finals that you're going to try to get in a guy's head.
His name is Brian Bellows.
There's no shortage of writing on the Islanders glory period and legends. But there can never be enough, especially when it's as personal and hilarious as this. Thanks, Trots. Sorry about the convertible Fiat.