Al Arbour, ice hockey player, died at 82

  Dead Famous

Dead. Alger Joseph “Radar” Arbour, born November 1, 1932 and died August 28, 2015, he was a Canadian National Hockey League player, coach, and executive. He is second to Scotty Bowman for most wins and games coached in league history. Under Arbour, the New York Islanders won four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983.

Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Arbour played amateur hockey as a defenceman with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. He played his first professional games with the Detroit Red Wings in 1953. Claimed by the Chicago Black Hawks in 1958, Arbour would help the team win a championship in 1961.

Arbour played with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the next five years, winning another Cup in 1962. He was selected by the St. Louis Blues in their 1967 expansion draft and played his final four seasons with the team.

During his last year with the Blues, Arbour was hired mid-season to coach the team. In 107 games, he led them to a 42–40–25 record, but only one playoff series win. After a woeful expansion year, the New York Islanders hired Arbour as coach in 1973.

Arbour led the team to a winning record every season from 1974–75 until he stepped down in 1985–86. Arbour won nineteen consecutive playoff series, which remains an NHL record. He was awarded the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach in 1979.

Upon retiring from the bench, Arbour was named vice president of player development for the Islanders. He returned to coach the Islanders in the 1988–89 season and remained there until 1994, notably upsetting the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1993 playoffs.

He was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for his contributions to the sport and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.
Arbour started his playing career in 1954 with the Detroit Red Wings, winning the Stanley Cup.

He later skated for the Chicago Black Hawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and St. Louis Blues. Arbour also won the Stanley Cup as a player with the 1960–61 Chicago Black Hawks and the 1961–62 and 1963–64 Toronto Maple Leafs. Arbour, along with teammate Ed Litzenberger, is one of eleven players to win consecutive Stanley Cups with two different teams.

He is one of only ten players in Stanley Cup history to win the Cup with three different teams. Arbour was also the first captain of the expansion St. Louis Blues, and played for them when they lost in Cup finals in 1968, 1969, 1970 (all in four consecutive games).

One of the few professional athletes to wear eyeglasses when competing, Arbour was the last NHL player to wear them on the ice. Arbour began his coaching career with St. Louis in 1970, taking over as coach after playing for the Blues for parts of four seasons.

Following two additional seasons with St. Louis, he was recruited by GM Bill Torrey to take over a young New York Islanders team that had set a then-NHL record for futility by winning only 12 games in their inaugural season, 1972–73.

On November 3, 2007, Arbour returned, at the request of Islanders coach Ted Nolan, to coach his 1,500th game for the Islanders.

At age 75, he became the oldest man ever to coach a National Hockey League game. The Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3–2, giving Arbour his 740th win.

The 739 win banner was brought down, and replaced with one with the number 1500, representing the number of games coached.

Arbour and his wife, Claire, lived in Longboat Key, Florida, and maintained a summer cottage in Sudbury. In 2015, he underwent treatment for Parkinson’s disease and dementia in Sarasota, Florida, eventually entering hospice care. Arbour died on August 28, 2015 in Sarasota, Florida, at the age of 82.