Seven-time Stanley Cup champion Bryan Trottier has it figured that after a decade as a coach, he'd much rather take on a new job that has a little more long-term security. The 50-year-old Trottier agreed to rejoin the NHL team with which he enjoyed his greatest successes, the New York Islanders, as the director of player development back in June. "It's a wonderful place to be because there's no stress," said the native of Val Marie, Sask. at the inaugural Bryan Trottier Inside Edge Pro Sports Hockey Camp in Acton recently. "No scouting, no traveling. All the players have their own coaches and I'm not a coach any more, so I'll leave that to them. I'll concentrate on being a mentor to our prospects from junior, college or Europe." Trottier is the Isles' all-time leading scorer with 500 goals and 1,353 points, winning four consecutive Cups in the early 1980s on Long Island. He went on to win two more championships as a player with Pittsburgh and Mario Lemieux, then earned his seventh Cup as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. A Hockey Hall of Fame inductee in 1997, Trottier's return to work with the often-dysfunctional Islanders signaled the end of hard feelings between the two. It also hasn't stopped him from running his hockey schools in the U.S. and Canada during the summer months. The inaugural Acton week-long camp was filled to capacity, with 126 youths mainly from this area taking part, including Trottier's fouryear-old son, Christian. Along with Trottier, longtime NHL defenceman Jay Wells served as an instructor and there were guest appearances by former Islander goalie Billy Smith and current Canadian women's team member Sami-Jo Small. The idea for the camp came from Acton resident Nathan Marzo, who owns the Inside Edge sports store in town and has a business partnership with Trottier for a line of athletic apparel called Performance Wear. "With a lot of hockey schools, they'll bring in an NHL guy like Jason Spezza and he might be on the ice for a bit and then sign some autographs," said Marzo, who plans to bring the camp back to Acton next August. "Not Bryan, he's on the ice for six hours a day. He's hands on and the kids really respond well to that." The camp also involved a dry-land component and self-confidence-building sessions. Marzo added that in order to accommodate the camp, the Acton Arena opened two weeks earlier than usual. "Nathan has done a wonderful job organizing this," Trottier said. "He and his dad Phil and wife Victoria have been able to get so much local support with volunteers and sponsorships and it's great to work with such enthusiastic kids here in Acton."
Christian Begin, 12, of Acton was thrilled to get his photo taken with a couple of former Stanley Cup champions and a miniature version of the famed trophy itself during the Bryan Trottier Inside Edge Pro Sports Hockey Camp in Acton. Trottier (left) and Jay Wells signed autographs for all of the young participants on the final day of the camp recently.