HAMBURG – Earlier in the offseason, Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan phoned Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier to ask his old friend about a candidate he was considering for one of the vacant assistant coach positions.
Then a funny thing happened.
“I started asking him about certain things,” Nolan said this morning at the Wanakah Country Club prior to the team’s annual golf tournament. “I felt there was some enthusiasm in his voice about doing something that he grew up doing very well.”
Eventually, “one conversation led to another conversation,” Nolan said. Trottier, who won six Stanley Cups and scored 524 goals and 1,425 points during an illustrious playing career, hasn’t coached since 2002-03.
Nolan doesn’t care.
“It’s like riding a bike,” he said. “I don’t care if Bryan didn’t coach for 50 years. He still knows how to hop onto that bike and ride and win.”
Naturally, someone with Trottier’s stature has a presence around a team.
“When Bryan Trottier walks into a room, all the players are going to listen,” Nolan said. “His experience about how to win (is terrific). People can talk to you about how they think they could win is one thing. Hearing from a person that actually won and knowing how to do it is a lot different.”
Nolan added: “I’m sure glad when I popped the question if he’d be interested, he said, ‘Let me think about it for a couple days,’ and that’s all it took.”
Check back later for a full story on Nolan’s summer.