by Kenny Albert
"I remember he was always hoisting the Stanley Cup over his shoulders year after year," said Brian Leetch
, when asked his biggest memory about the playing career of new Ranger's head coach Bryan Trottier
. After winning seven Stanley Cups – six as a player and one as an assistant coach – the Hockey Hall of Famer was introduced by the Rangers Thursday at a Madison Square Garden press conference attended by Leetch, Eric Lindros
and Mike Richter
Trottier has paid his dues after an 18-year NHL playing career. He worked in the Islanders front office during the 1992-93 season. After returning to the ice with Pittsburgh in 1993-94, the Isles all-time leading scorer worked as an assistant behind the Penguins bench the next three seasons, was head coach of the Washington Capitals top affiliate in Portland (Maine) in 1997-98, and for the past four seasons was an assistant coach under Bob Hartley with the Colorado Avalanche.
Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather
recalled personal battles between Trottier's Islanders and the Sather-coached Edmonton Oilers in the 1983 and 1984 Stanley Cup Finals.
"After the Islanders beat us (by winning their fourth consecutive Cup) in 1983, I remember walking past their locker room," said Sather. "All of the Islander players were battered and bruised, battle-torn. Our guys didn't look like that."
Guess what? The upstart Oilers looked like that the next spring, as they ended the Islanders dynasty.