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by Corey Witt / New York Islanders
Newsday, NY Times, NY Post, Canadian Press, LI Business News...

As part of our job, we watch what the media reports on the Orange and Blue. On Thursday, the Islanders announced Al Arbour will return to the team to coach one final game to reach the milestone of 1,500 regular season games coached with the Islanders.

The reaction so far has been great from the media and the fans from Newsday to the Canadian Press to the blogosphere.

Here's what already been said...

On the inside front cover of Newsday, columnist Mark Herrmann's article wrote how this special event all came about from an idea from Islanders current head coach Ted Nolan (click here to read . Herrmann wrote: << So Nolan ran the idea past general manager Garth Snow, who agreed. They approached team owner Charles Wang, who called Arbour at home in Florida. The former coach was reticent but said that Claire loved the idea and so did their four children, all of whom will be in Uniondale Nov. 3. >> 


Lebrun of the Canadian Press also wrote a story recapping how Nolan thought of the idea and how it all came about. His story ran on every major Canadian sports website from to (click here to read ).


At the New York Post, Mark Everson discussed that Al Arbour's return isn't just a marketing ploy by the Islanders (click here to read) and wrote: << It's not a ticket-sales ploy, because the Islanders will be playing host to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, a hot item anyway. Instead, it's Isles coach Ted Nolan and GM Garth Snow doing something fine. Considering Arbour's abilities and the effect he's likely to have on the bench and Nassau Coliseum, they may even be helping themselves.  >>


Dave Caldwell of the New York Times penned a story that said Arbour might not be changing lines, but will have his legendary presence felt (click here to read ). He wrote: << Nolan said he planned to have Arbour talk to the team in the dressing room before the game. Nolan will most likely take care of line changes, but he said Arbour's presence should give the Islanders plenty of motivation. And if they do win, the large Coliseum banner celebrating Arbour's 739 coaching victories would need to be changed. >>


MSG's Stan Fischler on's Game On! blog covered Al sicne he broke into the NHL as a defensemen (click here to read  and wrote: << For myself, who has known Al since he broke into the NHL as a defenseman in 1953, this is especially pleasing. Over the past decade, Arbour has had to overcome many a serious health problem. Whether he wins or loses, against Sid Crosby, his mere appearance will be a triumph itself. >>


On the Long Island Business News's blog, David Reich-Hale discussed how he enjoys the Islanders look back at the team's rich history (click here to read) and wrote: << In all seriousness, the Islanders are doing the right thing by utilizing and celebrating their rich history. We'll see if it drums up some excitement here. In the meantime, I'm waiting for the team to bring Gord Dineen back for one game. >> 


The Associated Press version of the story by Ira Podell (click here to read) also ran as a top story on and appeared in the sports brief section of newspapers all throughout the country, from Seattle, Washington to Philadelphia, PA.


Even the Pittsburgh press took note. Dave Molinari of the Post-Gazette added the item to his Penguins notebook . Click here to read.


The Philadelphia Daily News took the Arbour story  and turned it into a challenge for their readers. The Daily News wants to know if Philly fans could bring back one of their coaches from 1980 – on, whom would it be? Our choice, if only for the emotional press conferences, would have to be Dick Vermeil. Click here to read.

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