Go ahead, Bill Torrey told Bryan Trottier, take it. Just don’t tell anybody.
Which is how the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the playoff MVP wound up with the sun streaming through his window, reflecting off the Stanley Cup at the foot of his bed, after the Islanders won the first of four straight championships in 1980.
Now it’s part of the NHL culture that each member of the winning team gets a day with the Cup. Forty years ago, Trottier needed the tacit approval of Torrey, the Islanders’ Hall of Fame general manager, to get his special moment.
Let Trottier tell the tale:
“I was looking for my time with the Stanley Cup, that’s what I remember,” he told Newsday last month. “I want a day with the Cup. I don’t know why I wanted that. Nobody ever talked about a day with the Stanley Cup. But I did want some special time with it. In my heart, it was, ‘How do I get my time with my family, my friends, with the Stanley Cup? Just alone. We can have an hour, a half-hour.
“I went to Bill Torrey and said, ‘Bill, when’s the Cup going back?’ He said, ‘It’s just going back to my house tomorrow. We’re going to have the parade tomorrow [May 28, 1980] and it’s going to sit.’
“’I said, can I take it back to my house and wake up with the Stanley Cup? The first thing I see when I open my eyes?’
“He said, ‘Bryan, you’ve got to take it home.’ He goes, ‘Don’t let anybody see, don’t say anything.’ I just kind of discreetly grabbed the Cup, walked it out the door and put it in the backseat of my car. It was just so comical. It was like I was taking my little stroll with the Stanley Cup.
“I put it right at the end of my bed so, in the morning, when I opened my eyes, the first thing I was going to see was the glistening, glowing Stanley Cup right at the foot of my bed, right by the bedroom window. And it was just totally beyond what I thought it was going to be. It was so powerful, just a very personal moment with it.
"People say you slept with the Stanley Cup. Well, I didn’t sleep with it. It wasn’t laying with me in the bed. But I had it right at the foot of my bed.”