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RIP Al Arbour

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Steak Snabler, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    New York Islanders - Al Arbour Passes Away

    Had been suffering from Parkinson's and dementia for some time. He was 82.

    Won 4 titles as a coach and 4 as a player. Hard to think of anyone in major professional sports who has accomplished more on both levels (maybe Bill Russell, though he was a player/coach).
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    He was the guy when I first got into hockey as a Kings fan in '79 or '80. Kings could never beat those Isles.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Even though I have been a Rangers fan since my 20s, I grew up with those Islanders teams -- I probably only ever got into hockey because I grew up less than 3 miles from the Coliseum and they started winning Stanley Cups when I was 11 or 12. Arbour and Bill Torrey were a hell of a team. Arbour took over an expansion team that had won only 12 games, and within a few years they were one of the better teams in the NHL and within 6 or 7 years they were beginning a dynasty. Having Denis Potvin and Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier and Clark Gillies and Bobby Nystrom and Billy Smith and a bunch of excellent roles players made the job easier for Arbour -- so you have to give Bill Torrey a lot of the credit for building that team. But damn, was Al Arbour a good coach.

    Part of my childhood just passed. RIP.
    YankeeFan likes this.
  4. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    Some interesting stats I wasn't really aware of, especially the last one.

    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 (behind Scotty Bowman) and won four straight Stanley Cup Championships (1980-1983), 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.
  5. Bronco77

    Bronco77 Well-Known Member

    One thing I remember about Arbour was that he coached the St. Louis Blues for a year or two in the early '70s. The Blues' ownership was notoriously impatient and meddlesome back then and fired him. The franchise has yet to win a Stanley Cup. Might have been a different story if they'd shown some patience with Arbour.
    Liut likes this.
  6. Sea Bass

    Sea Bass Well-Known Member

    Maybe Toe Blake, who won three Cups, a Hart and and Art Ross, and made the HOF as a player then won eight as a coach.
    cyclingwriter2 likes this.
  7. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

    Good points. I shake my head when I think of the Salomons. Here they had two guys that would go on to be the top-two all-time winningest coaches and both were shown the door. However, I doubt Arbour would have ever been successful in St. Louis, mostly for the reasons you stated above. As Ragu mentioned earlier, Torrey and Arbour went about it the right way - drafting well and developing those players. St. Louis didn't do that.

    Lord, some of the coaches St. Louis had back in the 1970s - Jean Guy Talbot, Leo Boivin, and the immortal Garry Young. That franchise didn't get turned around until Emile Francis was hired to run it. To their credit, Francis was a Salomon hire IIRC.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
    Bronco77 likes this.
  8. cyclingwriter2

    cyclingwriter2 Well-Known Member

    Going throw in Lenny Wilkens and Ditka
  9. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Ancient history, but John McGraw won a few titles as a player with the 1890s Orioles and won 3 World Series with the Giants.
  10. cyclingwriter2

    cyclingwriter2 Well-Known Member

    McGraw also has one of the highest on base percentages of all time. For hockey, art Ross and Lester Patrick were star players before becoming coach/owners
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