Thread: Bryan Trottier
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08-25-2010, 03:47 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Even if you concede the point that he dropped off a little early.. his offensive peak still stands up with pretty much anyone.
It is still pretty good.

Lafleur whom everyone here seems to agree had a fantastic offensive peak had in his top 6 seasons 327 goals, 439 assists and 766 points.

Trottier in his top 6 seasons had 256 goals 448 assists for 704 points.

Now obviously Lafleur peaked higher, especially as a goal scorer, but he gets all kinds of credit for that short but wonderful peak. And please don't roll out the different era argument when their career years mostly overlap.

Trottier is within hailing distance of that same peak for points, adds every other hockey skill you can think of at an excellent level and gets put down for having the short peak.
Well, being one of those guys that would probably rate Lafleur higher than Trottier I'll try my best to answer it. Raw numbers are in Lafleur's favour for that 6 year peak but it goes beyond that.

top 10 finishes best 6 years:
Lafleur - 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 4

Trottier - 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 12

Lafleur 3 Art Ross
Trottier 1 Art Ross

Lafleur 2 Harts
Trottier 1 Hart

Both won 4 Cups but Lafleur was the best player in the world and on his team when he did this. Trottier was not the best player in the world when the Isles had their dynasty. I prefer Potvin (just barely) on the Isles dynasty so he's certainly in the running for 2nd IMO.

So despite the advantage Trottier had with defense, physical play etc. it just isn't right to suggest Trottier had a better prime. Lafleur was the toast of the NHL, he won scoring titles, he won MVPs, he won the Conn Smythe and could have won three to be honest. He was as clutch as they came in every darn Cup he played in on that dynasty. That makes up for the fact that he was nothing special defensively because the way I look at it, Lafleur falls into the category of a player who was the focus of everyone else when he was on the ice. There are precious few players you would say this about, today Ovechkin is a good example perhaps or Sid. So even when you go beyond the numbers you can just see the dominance that Lafleur had over the NHL during that time, he was peerless and I don't think there was ever a time when Trottier was peerless to the NHL. So that's why I rate Lafleur higher, that ridiculous peak! Now compare them solely OUTSIDE of their peaks and it's a clear edge for Trottier IMO

I just don't get why there seems to be a double standard for Trottier. Again, I don't see how he can really move up the HOH list against that competition because he is already quite high.. although I think the case could be made. I am just trying to understand why he seems to get so little appreciation in general.
To be fair, there are people, including yours truly who penalize Lafleur for his drop off injuries or not. And you know what? They should too. I give Trottier full marks for changing his game to fit the Penguins championship teams but like someone said before a guy like Sakic is often rated higher because at the same age when Trottier was tailing off Sakic was leading the playoffs in scoring en route to a Cup. But we all know the kind of player Trottier was in his prime, he was lethal and could beat you in so many ways. That's really the best way to describe the guy, he could beat you in any style of game. So I don't think he gets underrated among the historians at all.

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