Former New York Islanders coach and Hockey Hall of Famer Al Arbour has died at age 82.
The Islanders confirmed reports of Arbour's death in a release. Arbour coached the team for 19 seasons, leading the Isles to the playoffs 15 times and winning four straight Stanley Cups from 1980-83. He is the NHL's second-winningest coach of all time.
Prior to his coaching career, Arbour spent 14 years in the league as a player, logging 626 games as a defenseman with the Red Wings, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs and Blues. He won the Stanley Cup as a player with Detroit (1954), Chicago (1961) and Toronto (1962, 1964).
“Al will always be remembered as one of, if not the, greatest coaches ever to stand behind a bench in the history of the National Hockey League,” Islanders president and general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. “The New York Islanders franchise has four Stanley Cups to its name, thanks in large part to Al’s incredible efforts. From his innovative coaching methods, to his humble way of life away from the game, Al is one of the reasons the New York Islanders are a historic franchise. On behalf of the entire organization, we send our deepest condolences to the entire Arbour family.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement, “The National Hockey League deeply mourns the passing of Al Arbour, revered head coach of the dynastic New York Islanders.
Arbour, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, also spent time in the Islanders' front office during the 1980's. He retired in 1994 having coached 1,499 total games, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996.
- Jeremy Woo