Former NHL player and coach Al Arbour passed away today of Parkinson’s and dementia. He was 82.
Arbour is best known for leading the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup titles in the early 1980’s. Those teams included the likes of Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and Billy Smith in goal. Those championship teams made Arbour the second winningest coach in NHL behind only Scotty Bowman.
Arbour also won four Stanley Cups as player – one with the Detroit Red Wings, one with the Chicago Blackhawks and two with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He would end his playing career with the St. Louis Blues where he would later become its coach before beginning his association with the Islanders in 1973.
In a classy gesture, Ted Nolan arranged for Arbour to come back and coach one more game for the Islanders in 2007. It would be his 1,500th game coaching the Islanders. Arbour became the oldest man in NHL history to win a game as a coach.