Al Arbour, arguably the best coach in NHL history, has passed away.
As a kid who loved the Islanders – and still do – it’s depressing news.
When you think of the Isles and all of their success, you’ve got to think of Al Arbour above all other names.
The mannerly coach with a talent for shaping young players and getting the most out of them, has a modern record that will stand the test of time.
He took the Isles to the pinnacle of the hockey world – winning four consecutive Stanley Cups in the ’80s.
The dynastic team had Hall of Famers such as Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Billy Smith, my favourite Chico Resch…. the list goes on.
But it was Arbour who led the team to 15 playoff appearances in what can only be called a stellar career.
Arbour was suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s, so at 82, perhaps it’s time to let him go. But it’s hard.
As former Islander Ray Ferraro said in a Tweet: “Have so many thoughts on passing of Al Arbour. So sad, he impacted my career, life deeply. Rest peacefully Al.”
Thanks Al. You’ve given me so many wonderful memories.