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This Date in NHL History

Aug. 28: Arbour, longtime Islanders coach, dies at 82

Plus: Hall of Famer Bathgate born; Hall, Pilote inducted in 1975

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


2015: Al Arbour, the coach of the New York Islanders during their dynasty in the early 1980s, dies at age 82.

Arbour is a member of four Stanley Cup championship teams during his career as a defenseman, during which he becomes notable for wearing glasses on the ice. He coaches the St. Louis Blues for three seasons in the early 1970s before taking over the second-year Islanders in 1973. Arbour gets the Islanders within one victory of the Stanley Cup Final in 1975, keeps them among the NHL's elite for the remainder of the 1970s, then guides them to four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1980-83. The Islanders reach the Final in 1984, but their quest for a fifth straight title ends at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers.

Arbour steps down after the 1985-86 season, but returns in 1988-89 after Terry Simpson is fired and stays through the 1993-94 season before retiring again. He makes a one-game appearance on Nov. 3, 2007, to give him exactly 1,500 games coached and 740 wins with the Islanders. The 3-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins is the 782nd of his career, then second to Scotty Bowman on the NHL's all-time list.

"He's the best coach I ever played for," said center Ray Ferraro, a member of the 1992-93 team that advanced to the Wales Conference Final. "Al had the best feel for what the player needed or could handle; a kick in the rear or pat on the back … he knew which [to use]."



1932: Andy Bathgate, a star with the New York Rangers in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, is born in Winnipeg. Bathgate averages more than a point a game for New York from 1955-64 before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs late in the season and helping his new team win a third consecutive Stanley Cup championship. Bathgate wins the Hart Trophy as most valuable player in 1958-59 after setting Rangers records with 40 goals and 88 points, and ties for the NHL scoring title in 1961-62 with 84 points. Bathgate finishes his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1971 with 973 points (349 goals, 624 assists) in 1,069 games and is inducted into the Hall in 1978. The Rangers retire his No. 9 in 2009, and in 2017, he is named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players.

Video: Andy Bathgate had it all: talent, toughness, looks


1965: The Hall of Fame inducts 12 members: Marty Barry, Clint Benedict, Arthur Farrell, Red Horner, Syd Howe, Jack Marshall, Bill Mosienko, Blair Russel, Ernie Russell and Fred Scanlan as players, and Foster Hewitt and Tom Lockhart as builders.


1975: Two longtime Chicago Blackhawks teammates, goalie Glenn Hall and defenseman Pierre Pilote, are among six men inducted into the Hall of Fame. Forwards George Armstrong, Gordie Drillon and Ace Bailey are also inducted as players, and New York Rangers president William Jennings, a key figure in the 1967 expansion that doubles the size of the NHL, is inducted as a builder.


2019: Cam Ward signs a one-day contract that enables him to retire as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. The 35-year-old goalie retires after 14 NHL seasons, the first 13 with the Hurricanes before playing for the Blackhawks in 2018-19. He's voted winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2006, when he becomes the first rookie goalie since Patrick Roy in 1986 to help his team win the Stanley Cup. His 668 games played and 318 victories are Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers franchise records.

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