Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dave Trottier

Dave Trottier was one of the greatest amateur left wings in the history of hockey, and his numbers show it.

He played for the St . Michaels Majors of the OHA and led the OHA in goals with 13 in 6 games in 1923-24. The next season he led the OHA with 7 assists.

He then played senior hockey with the Toronto Varsity Grads. In 1926-27, he scored 23 goals in 11 games, had an OHA Senior-league leading 8 assists for 31 points, and the Varsity Grads won the Allan Cup as Canada's amateur champions.

But 1927-28 was Trottier's year of glory. He scored a whopping 33 goals,10 assists for 43 points in just 12 games, all of which led the OHA Seniors. The best was yet to come, though. Toronto represented Canada t the 1928 Olympics, winning the gold medal. The speedy Trotter was just phenomenal in the three games Canada played as he scored 12 goals, had 3 assists for 15 points, all of which led Olympic scorers.

It was not surprising, then, when Eddie Gerard, manager-coach of the Montreal Maroons and Conn Smythe, manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, both wanted Trottier for their teams. He was on the Toronto negotiation list, but suitable arrangements were made to let the Maroons sign him. The Maroons paid $10,000 in September of 1928 to secure his professional playing rights.

Dave got off to a bad start when he suffered a cut in his neck during a scramble, and went 22 games before scoring a goal. He worked in various combinations and finally hit his stride in 1931-32, scoring 26 goals in the 48 game NHL schedule, leading the Maroons in scoring with 44 points and finishing 6th in NHL scoring. He had been playing on a line with Paul Haynes and Glen Brydson. A great stickhandler and a willing fighter, Trottier was always ready to mix it up with any of the boys. Indeed, he had 94 minutes in penalties in his outstanding 1931-32 season.

After 1931-32, though, he was not to have another outstanding season in the NHL. He scored 16 goals and had 31 points in 1932-33, but would never even come close to that in any of the following seasons. He remained a valuable player, a coach's dream really, by earning a reputation as one of the game's top checking forwards. Had the NHL had an award honouring defensive forwards back then, Dave Trottier likely would have won one year.

In 1934-35 he played on a line with Russ Blinco and Earl Robinson. The Maroons won the Stanley Cup that year and Trottier was a star in the finals against Toronto. He scored the winning goal in the first game and was brilliant throughout the series despite receiving another skate cut.

He played three more years with Blinco and Robinson but seemingly was accident prone. In 1935-36 he suffered an ankle injury that forced him out of several games, and the following year was again out with a damaged shoulder and a severe heel cut. In the playoffs against Boston, he was cut above the eye in a stick-swinging duel with Dit Clapper, but played well as the Maroons eliminated the Bruins.

The Maroons suspended operations after 1937-38 to regroup from their losses. But when they sold most of their players to other teams, it was evident the Maroons were through for good. Trottier's rights were held by the dormant franchise, but the Maroons sold him to Detroit in December of 1938. In the first game he played for the Red Wings he received another bad skate cut in the neck when players fell over him on the ice.

He played a few more games after his recovery and then played for the Pittsburgh Hornets of the AHL before retiring at the end of the 1938-39 season.

Born in Pembroke, Ont. on June 25th, 1906, Dave Trottier died on November 13th, 1956 in Halifax, N.S. Though he was a solid NHLer who scored 121 goals in 446 NHL games way back in the 1930s, Trottier will always be remembered for his role in the 1928 Olympic gold medal winning team.


donald macdonald said...

Can anyone inform me how I can get a hold of a relative of dave trottier the reason is that I would like to give them his hockey card its not worth much but to a family mamber its pricless.

Denise Trottier said...

hi there
my name is denise trottier and I would love to have a card of my second cousin.
My email is dmtrottier@sympatico.ca

David King said...

Can you let me know if you still have the Dave Trottier card. Dave was my mother's uncle and I was named after him.



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