The New York Islanders are mourning the passing of legendary coach, Al Arbour.
The 82-year-old was named head coach of the Islanders at the start of the 1973 to 1974 season. Arbour was with the Islanders for 19 seasons, putting together one of the most famous coaching careers in NHL history.
Arbour led the Islanders to a total of 15 playoff appearances, won 119 career playoff games which is a NHL record for most with one club, currently sits second all-time in wins and games coached in the NHL and won four straight Stanley Cup Championships in 1980 to 1983, which is a mark no team has met since. Throughout the Islanders domination in the early 1980’s the team put together 19 straight playoff series victories, which still stands as the longest such streak in all of pro sports, according to NHL.
He stepped down as Islanders head coach following the 1985 to 86 season, but returned as the team’s head coach in 1988 to 1989 and stayed on through the 1993 to 94 season. Arbour was coach of the last Islanders team to win a playoff series when they knocked off the two-time Stanley Cup champion, Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1993 Patrick Division finals, according to ESPN.
In addition, the 82-year-old returned behind the Islanders’ bench for one more game in November of 2007, his 1,500th game as Islanders head coach, according to ESPN.
Al Arbour won Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year in 1979 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.
“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,”said Islanders President and General Manager Garth Snow. “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.”