Former NY Islanders player and coach Bill MacMillian passed away Saturday at the age of 80. MacMillan was a member of the organization as a player from 1973-1977 and an assistant coach during the franchise's first Stanley Cup run in 1980.
A native of Prince Edward Island, MacMillan endured early success in his hockey career, lifting the Memorial Cup with St. Michael's Majors in 1961 as Canadian National Champions.
MacMillan's best season in the NHL came during his rookie campaign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring 22 goals and adding 19 assists. He was acquired by the Islanders from the Atlanta Flames in 1973, during the franchise's second year of existence. MacMillan skated with the team for four seasons, scoring 32 goals and 36 assists for 68 points.
MacMillan played a physical game, thwoing his body around often. He served in a checking role with the Islanders during his time with the team.
Finishing his playing career in 1978 with the Fort Worth Texans of the now defunct Central Hockey League, MacMillan was brought on as an assistant coach with the Islanders by Al Arbour fo rthe 1979-80 season, part of the organization's first title in 1980. MacMillan's time with the Islanders was short, as he was offered the head coach position for the Colorado Rockies the following season, taking over for Don Cherry. After one season in Colorado, he also became the team's general manager, servibng in both positions. When the Rockies relocated to New Jersey MacMillan became the first head coach in New Jersey Devils history.
"The New York Islanders are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former player and Assistant Coach from the 1980 Cup team, Bill MacMillan," the Islanders published via Twitter. "We extend our thoughts and prayers to the entire MacMillan family and friends."