It has been confirmed that legendary coach Al Arbour has passed away in Florida.
As an Islander fan for as long as I can remember, Al has always been a revered figure in Islanders history. Not just for winning four straight Stanley Cups as a coach, but as a member of the community on Long Island, a father figure to his players, and a respected member of the hockey world.
Say what you will about the history of the Islanders franchise over the years, and there has certainly been some rather sordid events in the years since Al walked behind the bench, but any mention of Al Arbour brought any negative comments about the Islanders to a halt. There was simply no arguing with the character and accomplishments of the man we came to know as Radar.
I can’t help but wonder about the fact that Islander fans are losing another piece of their history during the same Summer that saw us say goodbye to the old barn as well. Hopefully, the team will do everything they can to keep that history deeply ingrained in the new location. A tribute to Al in the new arena would be a fitting way to start that trend.
Rest in Peace Al, and our prayers and condolences are with all who knew and loved him.
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