Inside the ‘incredibly generous’ feast Vincent Trocheck hosted for the Rangers

PITTSBURGH – Less than two seasons into his seven-year deal with the Rangers, Vincent Trocheck has started a new team tradition.

The Trocheck family hosted a majority of the Blueshirts players at their home in Pittsburgh on Tuesday for what has become an annual team dinner.

They served chicken parm, rigatoni, arancini, meatballs, linguine with shrimp and scallops, chicken cutlets, braciole and so much more.

It wasn’t just a pre-Thanksgiving event, either. Trocheck had everybody over last season in December. Whenever the schedule allows it, Trocheck said, he tries to make the family gathering happen.

“I just think it’s good to have everybody together and have a big home-cooked meal,” he said before the Rangers took on the Penguins on Wednesday night at PPG Paints Arena. “Especially when you’re on the road for a little bit, it’s nice to have a home-cooked meal and it just brings everybody together.”

The Rangers were welcomed in by Trocheck’s Nonna, her sister, his mom, dad and sisters, his aunt and uncle, his niece and nephew, as well as his sister’s husband and his other sister’s boyfriend. Since he got the new family house in Pittsburgh, Trocheck said he has always tried to invite his teammates over.

Even before he made it to the NHL, during Trocheck’s junior days in the Ontario Hockey League, his Nonna was always around to cook – and everybody was always invited.

The Rangers’ Vincent Trocheck celebrates with Ryan Lindgren and Artemi Panarin after scoring a goal.

“It means a lot for a guy to open his home,” Chris Kreider told The Post. “The year can be long and there’s a lot of time spent on the road, so it’s incredibly generous and kind of him and his family to spend the time to give the team a nice home-cooked meal in the middle of a fairly significant road trip. 

“That means a lot to the group. Obviously, reflects incredibly well on him and his upbringing.”

It’s become abundantly clear in Trocheck’s short Rangers tenure that he is just an open-arms kind of guy. His boisterous personality and infectious presence goes with his hospitable nature.

No one knows that side of him better than rookie Will Cuylle, whom Trocheck invited to live with him this season in his home with his wife, Hillary, and his two children, Lennon and Leo.

Trocheck said he remembered being in Cuylle’s situation, living in a hotel or whatever the accommodation was for young players, when he was with the Panthers during his transition to the NHL in 2013-14.

The 30-year-old recalled watching veterans take in rookies to make them feel part of the team, such as when former Florida captain Willie Mitchell took in Aaron Ekblad when he was first called up.

“I always thought that was very honorable,” Trocheck said. “So when I had the opportunity, saw Cools was at a hotel, just told him that if he needed a place to stay that he could come with us.”

Cuylle said he was a little surprised by Trocheck’s invitation, noting they talked a bit during his brief call-up last season, but that he didn’t really know him that well. Now it’s like Cuylle is Trocheck’s third kid.

Vincent Trocheck embraces Rangers teammate Will Cuylle.
Will Cuylle (right) is living with Vincent Trocheck and this family this season.

Trocheck described Cuylle as quiet and respectful. Cuylle said he likes to play mini sticks with Trocheck’s kids.

Somehow, Trocheck’s on-ice contributions have been as impactful as his off-ice ones.

The gritty center carried a six-game point streak into Wednesday’s matchup with the Penguins, collecting four goals and seven assists over that span. It coincides with Trocheck reuniting with Artemi Panarin on the second line in place of the injured Filip Chytil.

Because he skated on a line with Panarin many times last season, the transition has been seamless. Not only has he generated offense, Trocheck leads the Rangers and is second in the NHL with a 63 faceoff win percentage.

Year 2 has produced a much more comfortable version of Trocheck, who noted that New York feels much more like home this season.

Even in his first year, however, Trocheck opened his home to his new teammates.

Now it’s part of the Rangers’ yearly schedule.

“It says a lot about him as a person and a teammate,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “The fact that he takes in Will and watching out for a younger player. He invites the team to dinner. Just a quality person looking out for his team and his teammates.” 

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