Islanders Core of the Four Lorne Henning: The player-coach
Henning would stay on the Islanders bench as an assistant coach until 1984. He made a quick stop in the AHL with the Springfield Indians before taking the job as the bench boss for the NHL’s Minnesota North-Stars. In two years with the North Stars, he went 68-72-18. He didn’t get to finish his final season in Minnesota after getting fired with two games remaining on the season.
Henning would find his way back to the Island as an assistant coach from 1989 through the 1994 season. He took over coaching duties when Al Arbour retired after the 93-94 season. He wasn’t successful, going 15-28-5.
Although it’s not like Mike Milbury fared any better. In the following season after Henning left, the Islanders went 22-50-10. They picked up 19 points more than in 1994-95 but they also played 34 more games.
Henning immediately found work behind the Chicago Blackhawks bench the following year. But it wasn’t long before he was back on the Island.
He joined Butch Goring’s staff in 1999-00 and then took over after Butchy was fired 65 games into the 2000-01 season. He wouldn’t be kept on past the 17 games he coached in 2000-01.
In 2002-03 as a member of Mike Babcock’s Mighty Ducks of Anaheim staff, Henning almost tasted glory again. The Ducks went all the way to the Cup finals that year but lost out to the Devils in seven games.
His last stop in the NHL was with the Vancouver Canucks. From 2005 through to 2015 he moved up from Scout to Assitant General Manager when Trevor Linden shook things up and removed a number of people from within the Canucks, including Henning.
I know that he didn’t win four cups as a player. He only has two. But on that night back in 2008, the Islanders honored him just like the rest. On that night it was 17 players and not 16. Henning was and is one of the 17.