Bryan Trottier might not have been the fastest skater or have the hardest shot, but that didn’t stop the man from Val Marie, Sask. from becoming one of the greatest players in the NHL.
Trottier’s journey along the way was far from easy being raised the son of a Cree Metis father and Irish mother.
He said his parents taught him at an early age how to deal with racism and negativity.
“I always thought to myself why would they say these bad names, like why are they saying this? And my dad and mom were wonderful, they just said they’re just jealous, they’re jealous of how athletic you are and they want bring you down to a different level, they want to slam you down,” Trottier told Face to Face guest host Darrell Stranger.
“Just recognize it as jealousy and you’ll be fine and after a while, we just said hey yea ok, so you want to play and all of a sudden you’re accepted and I found that to be kind of a breakthrough for my generation and brothers and sisters.”
Many of Trottier’s stories are now detailed in his new book All Roads Home: A life on and off the ice. From the hardships he faced to his playing days and stories in between, Trottier said now was the perfect time to release a book to pass on stories and encouragement to the next generation.
“Now I’m at a point in my life where I think I’m not nearly as guarded like I didn’t want to give away any secrets. So that helps, I think being a grandfather and wanting to influence the next generation of athletes and student-athletes and I think all those things just kind of charged me up to the point where I felt comfortable and the final product is something to be proud of,” he said.
“I was homesick all the time, wanting to go home, so I reflect on my little hometown of Val Marie and my parents and my family and I think we all do a little bit. I think we can all understand that and relate to that a little bit.
“I also think that the achievement of a dream and the power of a dream is something that we all kind of would like to aspire to do so for me if it gives a little hope and inspiration and influences somebody in a positive way, that’s great.”
Having won seven Stanley Cups, Trottier said they’re all special, with the first one being that much sweeter.
“For me, it’s the overtime goal that Bobby Nystrom scored that made me a champion for the first time and that was a dream come true, to be able to feel like a Stanley Cup champion and to finally get over and touch and feel the names that are engraved on the Stanley Cup and to raise it up over my head like Jean Beliveau did and hug it was a special, special moment,” Trottier said.
“Obviously to do it, again and again, it’s like being a father for the second time, third time, fourth time, it’s just a unique path that each one has, the uniqueness of each individual path that you have to take and teams that you have to overcome to win it but that first one really felt spectacular.”