Coaching great Al Arbour dies at 82

Coaching great Al Arbour dies at 82

NHL coaching great Al Arbour, who guided the New York Islanders to four straight Stanley Cup titles in the 1980s, has died at the age of 82, the Islanders said Friday.

A cause of death was not immediately given but Arbour, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, had been receiving treatment for Parkinson`s disease and dementia near his home in Sarasota, Florida.

"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," Snow said.

Arbour coached 1,500 regular-season games over 19 seasons with the Islanders after he was hired at the start of the 1973-74 season.

He retired after the 1994 playoffs, but returned in 2007 at the age of 75 to coach one more game for the team -- a 3-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Arbour won 119 career playoff games -- an NHL record for a coach with one club -- over 15 postseason appearances and hoisted the Stanley Cup each season from 1980 to 1983. Overall, he had a 782-577-223 record, including three seasons coaching the St. Louis Blues, and ranks second on the NHL win list behind Scotty Bowman.

He also won the Stanley Cup three times as a player, once with the Chicago Blackhawks and twice with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.

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