Viewers tuning into Sportsnet's Hockey Night in Canada got a special treat this evening: a video address from Bryan Trottier, Islanders legend, seven-time Stanley Cup champion, Hockey Hall of Famer, occasional country crooner and general legend on and off the ice.
The two-minute video is like a very, very abridged audio version of his recent article in The Players' Tribune, in which Trottier wrote to his younger self about what lay ahead in his hockey career.
Tonight's schedule included the Canadians playing the Hurricanes, the Bruins visiting the Canucks and Trottier's Islanders facing the Ottawa Senators. Between Trottier's narration are clips of the current stars of those teams, who all hope to achieve a small fraction of the glory Trottier did in his career with the Islanders (and Penguins and as a coach with the Avalanche, but we don't talk about them).
Islanders captain John Tavares is featured in the video, although he and his teammates couldn't seal the deal against the Senators tonight and blew a 2-0 third period lead en route to a 3-2 overtime loss.
The best part of the video is Trottier alluding to his infamous trash talking of former North Star Brian Bellows juxtaposed with Tavares getting grief from a ref about arguing calls all night. Tavares doesn't get it nearly as bad as "Superstar Bellows" did, but it's still funny.
And Bryan Trottier is still a guy who sets the standard for players even years after his heyday and retirement.