Legendary NY Islanders head coach Al Arbour resigned for the second time 30 years ago

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals
New York Islanders v Washington Capitals / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

It wasn't the first time Al Arbour stepped down as head coach of the New York Islanders, but it was the final time. After recurring speculation about potential departure, on June 1, 1994, the man who led the franchise to four consecutive Stanley Cups and 19 straight playoff series wins retired from coaching and was named the organization's Vice President of Player Personnel.

When he retired, Arbour was second on the all-time list for wins (781) and playoff wins (123) only behind Scotty Bowman. The 1,606 games he coached across 22 seasons were the most in NHL history. He resigned the first time after the 1985-86 season after 13 seasons as Isles head coach and was replaced by Terry Simpson. When the team struggled during Simpson's third year, Arbour came back during the 1988-89 season.

Arbour gave Islanders one more set up memorable moments during the 1993 playoffs as the underdog Islanders knocked off Bowman's two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the Patrick Division Finals. The team qualified for the playoffs after an up and down season in 1993-94, but were swept in four games by the New York Rangers in the first round.

"It's been an honor and privilege to coach the New York Islanders," he said at the press conference. "But the time has come to allow someone else to take over the coaching duties."

Lorne Henning, a former player under Arbour, who had the secondary assist on Bob Nystrom's Stanley Cup winning-goal in 1980, would take over as head coach for the 1994-95 season after serving as one of Arbour's assistants. "It's been a great ride, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. This is my second time doing it, and I'll keep doing it until I get it right," Arbour joked as the presser ended.

"All good things come to an end, and this is it for me," Arbour stated.

He wasn't quite right.

Having coached 1,499 games for the Islanders, it was the idea of head coach Ted Nolan to have Arbour come back and serve as head coach for one more game to make it 1,500. On Nov. 3, 2007, the Islanders defeated the Penguins 3-2 at the Nassau Coliseum with Arbour back behind the bench. After the game, the team lowered down a banner celebrating his 739 career wins and replaced it with one commemorating his 1,500 games as Isles head coach.