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RESCH: Trottier brings fearlessness to Rangers

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The thing I remember about Bryan Trottier in my playing years was that he was fearless. In '74-'75, he came up to the Islander organization to practice with us; he couldn't play because he was too young. Then-coach Al Arbour put him between Bobby Nystrom and Gary Howatt. Even at the young age of 18, it was difficult to detect any sign of intimidation in Bryan. He was fearless but respectful. Trots has a great balance of confidence and respect, which to me is one of the biggest keys in taking on this Ranger challenge. You have to have tremendous confidence in what you bring to the club, but at the same time you must have tremendous respect for every other part of what makes up the New York . Trots has inherited some high-profile players on this roster, and finding a way to straighten things out on Broadway would certainly rank among the great achievements of his career. A coach has to make his players believe he has respect for them both individually and collectively. He cannot conduct day-to-day operations if players feel respect is lacking. Bryan always had a lot of respect for the game and the people around it, his teammates and opponents. I think the respectful attitude he brings with him to the will be a tremendous asset. At the same time, he cannot be intimidated or overwhelmed by anything. The Ranger job can be a little intimidating, even for a coach with a five- or 10-year coaching resume. The haven't made the playoffs in five years, and I don't know if the spotlight has been any brighter on a coach than it will be on Trots. The eyes of the hockey world are going to be on Bryan more than any coach the have ever had. From day one of his playing career, Trots could not be intimidated. As a rookie initiation, we designated Trots as the player to throw a pie in Arbour's face. Al came around a corner and Trots was so close that he drilled Al way too hard with the pie. Al got knocked back against a dryer and his glasses were all pushed up against his face with cream all over. That may have been the only time Trots showed any fear in his face. It seemed that for the first time he thought, "I went too far." When Al regained his bearing he told Trots that he was on the next bus back to "Speedy Creek," a nickname for Swift Current, where Bryan had played the previous year. That was his baptism into the . Bryan has the passion necessary to be a good coach. As a player, Trots was a fiery individual, and it showed all the time. He was pretty excitable and clearly pumped before a game. Out of nowhere, he'd just get this burst of energy. Bryan had an intense determination, as well, very similar to the steely determination of . Some of that stemmed from a stubborn streak Bryan had; he simply could not find it in himself to fail. In coaching, a stubborn streak is a pretty good trait to possess. If Trots thinks something needs to be done a certain way, he won't give in; peer pressure doesn't affect him. Trots is tremendously strong-willed, something which served him very well as a player and should also be an asset behind the bench. Trots was driven. We were playing Toronto in '78 and Leafs defenseman Brian Glennie lined Trots up at center ice for a huge hip check. Everyone on both benches thought Trots was caught with his head down. But at the last second, Trots saw Glennie and instead of trying to jump or do anything else to avoid the check, he powered right through him. Trots exploded like a running back and Glennie crawled from center ice back to the bench. That was the way Bryan was; he never took the safe route, he always took everything head-on. Bryan will never think there was any reason he shouldn't have taken this job. His inexperience will be talked about and analyzed by other people, but Trots won't look back. His inexperience will never dawn on him. It will just be full steam ahead all the way. Trottier can also be a practical joker. He laughed out loud a lot. If Bryan liked something, he would laugh big. He was outgoing about it; it was all or nothing. Just like with this job, it's all or nothing. I certainly hope Bryan is able to show that side of himself to the . I think it's what the need, someone to go all out on his own terms. Trots has been through a lot, including when his agent led him into some bad investments; he's been at the bottom end of things. Emotionally, he was really devastated for a while, but he's been able to battle through. I think that eliminates a lot of the fears of taking on a challenge of this caliber. When you've been on top, and then have nothing, and then come back to the top, that says something. Bryan must be thinking, "What's there to fear?" A lot of rookie coaches would be intimidated by the ' job, but Bryan isn't that way. As a coach, he's like a singer who has played some nice spots and then goes right to Carnegie Hall for his first major performance. This is going to be an incredible story one way or the other. It's only fitting — Trots' whole life has been an amazing story, too. A former National Hockey League goaltender who spent fourteen years playing and an additional six seasons as a coach and scout, Glenn "Chico" Resch brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the broadcast booth. Since 1996, he has served as analyst for New Jersey telecasts on Fox Sports Net. Chico's column appears regularly on MSGNetwork.com.
Tagged: Devils, Islanders, Rangers

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