A seven time Stanley Cup champion with the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Colorado Avalanche, Trottier recounts his road from Saskatchewan farm boy to NHL All-Star in his memoir, ALL ROADS HOME.
Trottier’s career ended just after I turned ten years old in 1994, so it’s safe to say I missed the bulk of his best years. That said, he isn’t someone I hear much about despite the legendary stats he put up over his long career. You know he’s a special player when Gretzky said that there were things Trottier could do that he couldn’t!
It’s no secret that I prefer a book written about a specific era or subject in hockey more than I do the straight-up player memoir, but this one did intrigue me. When you think about the 1980s in the NHL, the first team that always comes to mind is the Edmonton Oilers. And why not? They had a dynasty. But you know what team won 4 straight cups? The Bryan Trottier-led New York Islanders.
Trottier recounts the tough road travelled to establish a championship dynasty in the early 80s. The decade contained an offensive explosion the likes of which we will never see again (Gretzky had 92 goals and 210 points in the 1981-1982 season alone!) which required players to often push themselves beyond what they believed was humanly possible. Bryan writing of teammate Mike Bossy requiring someone to both carry him into the arena and tie his skates before getting on the ice and scoring three or more goals was mindblowing.
ALL ROADS HOME is more or less your paint-by-numbers player memoir. That’s not a knock at it, really. I mean, if you’ve read enough of these books like I have, it’s about what you’d expect. There isn’t really anything offensive here nor is there anything particularly exciting. If you’re a big Islanders fan who followed Bryan during his heyday, it’s likely going to be fun to relive the glory days, just like how I felt as a Leafs fan reading both Doug Gilmour or Wendell Clark’s stories.