Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 

TROTTIER'S LONG ISLAND FAMILY PORTRAIT

Thursday, 06.01.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
New York Islanders
X
Share with your Friends


TROTTIER\'S LONG ISLAND FAMILY PORTRAIT
With the Amendolas of Lloyd Harbor, No. 19 always felt at home

By Chris Botta

Warren and Pat Amendola of Huntington have four sons. The oldest is named Warren Jr., but they call him Ren or Renny. The youngest's name is Rick and just a couple of years older than him is Russ. And then there's their other son. He goes by the name of Bryan Trottier.

In a land not far from the Nassau Coliseum but in a time long ago from the days of rookies having their salaries capped at over a mill a year, a future member of the Hockey Hall of Fame lived with a local family during his first NHL season. Bryan Trottier, the NHL Rookie of the Year in 1975-76, boarded at the home of the Amendolas, then of Lloyd Harbor.

"They are my second family," Trottier said. "They're such special people, my own family is not insulted when they hear me say that. When I think of the people responsible for helping my career get off to such a good start on Long Island, I think of my coaches, my teammates, and the Amendolas."

It's hard to imagine Rick DiPietro or Sean Bergenheim bunking with a Long Island family for their first full NHL seasons, but it certainly worked for Trottier. Although he was just 20 years old at the time, the kid from Val Marie, Saskatchewan was wise enough to know he wasn't ready to tackle the real world alone. So on the first day of practice after making the big club, he told everyone in earshot that he was looking for a family to take him in.

Warren Amendola was at practice in Farmingdale that day. At the time he owned Koho, the hockey equipment manufacturer. Warren and his wife already had three children of their own and had never been billets before, like families across Canada are for junior hockey league players. "But we had the room," said Pat Amendola, "so we figured, why not"?

Immediately, Bryan fit in with the rest of the boys. Raised with impeccable manners by his mom and dad, the Islanders' rookie lived with the rules of the household and never took what the Amendolas were doing for him for granted. Trottier gained their trust and affection so quickly, they wanted Bryan to know their home was his home. Mondays became "Open House Night," meaning Bryan could bring over as many friends as he wanted. Gerry Hart came. So did Clark Gillies. Denis Potvin. J.P. Parise. Sometimes they all came to dinner on the same night.

"Those nights were a lot of fun," said Warren.

"The only thing better than Monday nights at the Amendolas," said Bryan, "was Friday nights with the Amendolas at their favorite Italian restaurant."

If you were Rick Amendola, the youngest, it was pretty cool to have the Islanders' star rookie as a big brother. Every so often, Trotts would go to Cold Spring Harbor High School with Rick. "If you think Bryan was a good ice hockey player," Rick said, "you should have seen him play rod hockey. You know Bryan he played to win. But my favorite memory was the day he left Islanders practice to come to school and help my friends and me build the senior float."

Having a family to go home to was everything to Trottier, whose preference for quiet nights has been a legendary part of his greatness for three decades as a player and coach. When you consider the brilliance of his rookie season the stunningly successful jump from Swift Current to New York and the NHL remember this: Bryan Trottier was not a first overall pick, a projected franchise player. In 1974, he was drafted in the second round. The only player taken in the 21 picks before him to come close to matching his accomplishments was the Islanders' first round pick, his future linemate and fellow Hall of Famer, Clark Gillies.

When Gillies had his number retired, he asked his best friend from the Islanders, Billy Harris, to cut the ribbon to raise his banner to the rafters. Clark cited Harry-O as the man who made him feel at home on Long Island in his rookie year. Trottier's choice was equally easy and for the same reasons. On Bryan Trottier Day, Oct. 20, 2001, Warren and Pat Amendola did the honors.

"I wanted them there for everything they did for me," said Trottier, who still checks in with his second family at least once a week. "They were the first people to take me under their wings. But really, everyone I met on Long Island did. I tell people all the time that I was born in Saskatchewan, but grew up on Long Island."

Trottier's second mom, Pat Amendola, said it best: "Bryan was like a member of the family. No wait, he still is a member of our family."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster |  NHL.com Terms of Use