NY Islanders News

UBS Arena should add statues to honor Islanders history

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Al Arbour
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Al Arbour

The late, great Al Arbour is an obvious prime candidate to be commemorated outside of the Islanders' new arena. The Sudbury, Ontario native was behind the Islanders bench from 1973-1986, and again from 1988-1994. In his first run as the Islanders coach, Arbour helped cement the Islanders' legacy that received the label as a "dynasty," winning four straight Stanley Cups from 1980-1983, and 19 straight playoff series through 1984.

Arbour ended his coaching career with 1,499 games coached and 739 wins behind the Islander bench. In 2007, then head coach Ted Nolan requested Arbour's presence behind the bench as a coach for one more game, giving him the opportunity to coach his 1,500th game at the age of 75. Arbour and the Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2, upping his win total to 740 games in the NHL. Arbour's banner with 739 wins was replaced with his 1,500 games coached banner you see in the rafters today. Arbour is the only head coach in NHL history to have coached 1,500 games with the same team.

Arbour underwent treatment for Parkinson's disease and dementia, eventually wound up in hospice, and passed away on August 28, 2015, at the age of 82.

If anyone should be first in line to be immortalized outside of UBS Arena, it's Arbour who was one of the pioneers of the Islanders' legacy. He's the greatest coach in franchise history, a feat that may never be surpassed in the future.

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