By Brian Compton
If the nickname change wasn’t enough to assure the changing of the guard in Trenton hockey, this definitely will.
NHL.com has learned that Scott Bertoli, who played with the Trenton Titans from the team’s inception in 1999 until this past season and its all-time leading scorer, is retiring.
Bertoli, 30, is coming off a career year with the Titans. Under first-year coach and former teammate Rick Kowalsky, Bertoli had 31 goals and 48 assists in 64 games. He added another five points in five postseason contests.
But life has changed for Bertoli, who was married this summer. The Princeton University graduate was recently named the Assistant Athletic Director at Princeton Day School, where he will once again coach the boy’s hockey team. In the end, No. 19 – which hopefully will be raised to the rafters of Sovereign Bank Arena this season – was provided with an opportunity to take the next step in his life.
“I kind of went back and forth all summer,” Bertoli said about playing this upcoming season. “I was passively looking for various job opportunities and was kind of reaching out to parents and friends in the area. This kind of just came up about a week and a half before my wedding, and it was perfect. It’s a great opportunity. I’ve enjoyed coaching here, and there’re a lot of great people here.”
Over the course of eight seasons in Trenton, Bertoli appeared in 507 regular-season games, and another 67 postseason contests. Dubbed “The Franchise” several years ago, Bertoli is Trenton’s all-time leading scorer with 182 goals and 344 assists. With his good friend Mike Haviland behind the bench, Bertoli and the Titans captured the team’s lone Kelly Cup championship in 2005. Kowalsky was the captain of that memorable squad. During that magical playoff run, Bertoli tallied 24 points in 20 games.
“Nothing even comes close to that,” Bertoli said. “Just the whole process … you always hear that the journey is greater than the destination. That whole process, going through those four rounds for those two and a half months with those guys was something I’ll never forget. I don’t think any one of those guys that were in that locker room will ever forget that. To finally win at the end was the icing on the cake and it was something you felt like needed to happen to top off a remarkable year.”