Al Arbour, who coached the 1980s Islanders to four straight Stanley Cups, died at the age of 82. As hockey world remembered him Friday as one of the best coaches in NHL history, here is some of what was said about Arbour.
Islanders Cup-winning general manager Bill Torrey:
"He treated his team like a family. You have good days, you have bad days. But you're going together as a team, as a group and you don't falter. He really set the tone from Day One. He never took a backwards step, and he certainly didn't expect the team would."
Islanders Hall of Fame defenceman Denis Potvin:
"Al was a tremendous mentor both on and off the ice. My dad, who passed away several years ago, had said, 'If I had to leave you with another dad, Al Arbour is the right guy for you.'"
Longtime NHL coach Scotty Bowman:
"He coached under a lot of great coaches, and he pulled everything that he could from all those people. He was just a guy that worked through everything. He had a lot of adversity and then had a lot of success."
Former Islanders forward Ray Ferraro:
"Ask almost any player that played for him, they'll tell you he's the best coach they ever played for. Yet Al does not have enough recognition for how great a coach he was, would never self-promote, never speak of himself, hated doing interviews about himself. It was about the team. It was team first, everybody else second."
Islanders GM Garth Snow:
"The New York Islanders franchise has four Stanley Cups to its name, thanks in large part to Al's incredible efforts. From his innovative coaching methods, to his humble way of life away from the game, Al is one of the reasons the New York Islanders are a historic franchise."
Hockey Canada president and CEO Tom Renney:
"The loss of Al Arbour will be felt in every thread of our hockey tapestry. One of the greatest coaches of all time, Mr. Arbour found a way to maximize every single player's ability, and certainly got every ounce out of his troops. Few have been able to duplicate his effectiveness and success as a coach."
Former New York Rangers GM Neil Smith:
"RIP Radar Al Arbour. One of the very best hockey people who ever lived. Great player, competitor and coach. But especially a great person."
Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider:
"I knew Al Arbour extremely well. He was a great guy, a great coach and a terrific all-around hockey man."
Islanders forward Michael Grabner:
"Sad day for Isles family with the passing of al arbour..he'll always be remembered for all he did and the person he was."