Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com
Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News is quoting sources as saying that NY Islanders Hall of Famer Brian Trottier will be joining the Sabres as an assistant coach.
The 58 yr. old Trottier had a stellar playing career as part of the Islanders dynasty of the late 70's/early 80's and with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early 90's.
He won the Calder Trophy in 1976, the Art Ross and Hart Trophies in 1979 and the Conn Smythe in 1980 and was opposite Hall of Fame RW Mike Bossy during the Isles four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980-83.
Trottier was signed by Pittsburgh in 1990 and won the cup with the Mario Lemieux-led Penguins in 1991 and 1992.
Legendsofhockey.net aptly described Trottier as a player "with old-fashioned attributes. At a time when specialists were beginning to take over from the all-round player, Trottier was a throwback. He was a defensively sound centerman with the vision and instincts of a pure scorer."
With the Sabres gearing the future towards a rugged, two-way style heavy on compete having a coach behind the bench who lived that style would be a coup.
Gleason writes that nothing has been confirmed at this point and no announcement has been planned, but said, "Trottier had been out of coaching but apparently was willing to come back for Nolan."
Nolan has direct ties to Trottier when he coached the Islanders and former Sabres President of Hockey Ops Pat LaFontaine came into the league with the Islanders just after their Cup-run.
Trottier has very little coaching experience, but was an assistant with the Colorado Avalanche when they hoisted the Cup in 2001.
He also had a short stint as a head coach with the rival NY Rangers in 2002 but was fired mid-season after compiling a 22-26-6-1 record.
At the time the Rangers had a $70M payroll--the highest in the league--and were in last place in the division, 11th in the conference.
GM Glen Sather said of the firing, "I think he's a good coach. I just think at this time, under these conditions, with this group of players that maybe it wasn't the right fit.''
"I made the decision that the team was sliding in the wrong direction,'' Sather said. "If I was going to do anything to try to salvage this season I had to do something in a hurry, put some shock value into the team and get the reality of the discipline that we need to have to win.''
Nolan has not hired any assistant coaches since his staff was either released or reassigned at the end of the season.
Although no confirmation has officially come down, hiring a legend like Trottier to help guide these youngins looks to be a solid move for the team.