Former Islanders HC Al Arbour sufering from dementia

  • Marcus Burnan
via The New York Times

via The New York Times

The greatest coach in New York Islanders franchise history – Al Arbour – is suffering from dementia according to one of his former players.

Arbour lead the Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup wins in the early 1980s.  According to Bryan Trottier, who played under Arbout in these championship winning years, the now 81-year old  Arbour is suffering from dementia.

“Al was a great motivator. He was probably our father figure in the fact that we all respected him so much,” Trottier said in the interview. “He had a great command of the room and at the same time he had a big man’s presence.

“He had won a lot of Stanley Cups as a player with several different teams, he played with great players, so he always brought that credibility with him. For us to sit down with him one-on-one or when he was in front of us as a team, he had a great presence and we loved the man. … We all love Al for all of the great times we had together and his leadership.”

Arbour played for 17 season with four teams before entering coaching with the St. Louis Blues.  He then moved to the New York Islanders and coached them for 1,500 games.  His 782 carer wins with the Islanderts ranks second all time behind only Scotty Bowman on the all-time wins list.

Arbour was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.

Byran Trottier was drafted by the Islanders in 1974 and spent the majority of hos career with the team before ending his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.

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