Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: al arbour
These kinds of articles are so superb that you can only begin at the beginning, and this one from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Dan O'Neill is a helluva read:
The way Scotty Bowman sees it, three components turned the St. Louis Blues into Stanley Cup finalists during their first three seasons. One was goaltender Glenn Hall. One was a trade to acquire Red Berenson and Barclay Plager.
And one was Al Arbour.
“He was the toughest competitor, most courageous player I ever coached,” Bowman said. “He was the guy all the young players looked up to.”
Alger Arbour now leans on every bit of that resilience and fortitude. He is being treated for Parkinson’s disease and dementia near his home in Sarasota, Fla. He has difficulty with balance, with recollection and with words. He is in hospice care. The prognosis is dire.
But you can count on one thing. Arbour will battle, as he did as a defenseman for the Blues, as he did throughout a career in which he has been with teams that won the Stanley Cup eight times, representing four cities. The fact one of those locations isn’t St. Louis is a pockmark on a franchise that is without a championship 48 seasons into its existence.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Some days - not too many, thankfully - I feel like it sucks to get old. Or, more precisely, it sucks to watch great hockey people you admire and respect grow old.
Friday was one of those days.
That's when the family of 74-year-old Stan Mikita announced the Hall of Fame Chicago Blackhawk centre and beloved franchise ambassador is facing serious health issues, that he has "been diagnosed with suspected Lewy Body dementia, a progressive disease and is currently under the care of compassionate and understanding care givers."
On the same day as that most unwelcome Mikita news, blogger Howard Berger (bergerbytes.ca) posted a current photograph of 82-year-old former NHL defenceman and Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour, updating his condition (dementia and Parkinson's Disease) and inviting fans to send best wishes to Arbour at his retirement home in Florida. Arbour's health issues were widely reported in the media last summer - it isn't necessarily 'news' he's now suffering dementia - but what's that they say about one picture being worth a thousand words?
That the failing health of these two Hall of Famers intersected, sadly, on the same day only added to the magnitude of the misfortune. At least it did for a kid who spent his formative Original Six hockey years growing up in Toronto in the 1960s, admiring the two men for very different reasons.
Amongst the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' notes:
What Leafs management likes most about Nazem Kadri — his inherent cockiness — is also what they like least. It’s good to have that when you’re producing. Kadri’s assist Friday night in Columbus was his first in 18 Toronto games, dating back to last season. ... Determined to get David Clarkson back on track this season, the Leafs coaching staff watched every game he played in his final two seasons in New Jersey this summer to get a sense of what he did well. So far, the reset, as Randy Carlyle calls it, seems to be working out just fine.
With 712 wins, Joel Quenneville is two seasons away from moving past Al Arbour on the NHL list of all-time coaching victories. He will end up second but nowhere near Scotty Bowman’s 1,244 wins . Quenneville, by the way, began his coaching career as a playing assistant to Marc Crawford with the Leafs farm team in St. John’s.
This is a tough time for hockey royalty: Gordie Howe, Arbour, Pat Quinn are all struggling. Wish all of them, and others we may not know about, the best. And from football, our friend, Dick Thornton, who writes via e-mail: “I’m fighting the best I can.” You can follow Tricky Dicky at http://www.coachthornton.com.
Simmons continues at length...
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
Al Arbour, the coach of the Islanders during their Stanley Cup run in the early 1980s, is experiencing health problems, former general manager Bill Torrey told Newsday.
"Al has had some health problems of recent vintage, but the family hasn't released anything and I respect the family," Torrey said. "I've talked to some of the former players who have called him, and they say the conversation doesn't last very long."
Torrey did not expand on Arbour's condition or mention any symptoms.
Bryan Trottier, who won four Stanley Cups playing for Arbour, said Tuesday on a Buffalo radio station that Arbour is suffering from dementia.
from Jim Baumbach of Newsday,
But I have a hard time accepting the fact that Arbour gets credit for the game and the win when his presence was completely ceremonial. In baseball there is a rule that limits the number of coaches who are in uniform in the dugout during the game, but I skimmed through the NHL record books and I couldn’t find a similar rule….
There was nothing wrong with having an Al Arbour night and putting him behind the bench for the 1,500th time with the Islanders. Everyone there still would have had a blast. But let’s stop fooling ourselves. In my record books, I’m crediting Ted Nolan with the win.
Wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning Jim?
This was not a PR stunt, but was actually suggested by Coach Nolan. Hockey honors their past greats, and it will continue to do so, with or without your record book.
Watch the post game press conference with Al Arbour….
from George Vescey at the New York Times,
A bunch of lucky Islanders are about to play for Arbour tonight in his 1,500th game with the team, after an invitation from Coach Ted Nolan.
This is the kind of homespun event that only hockey could produce, turning the Nassau Coliseum into a town rink somewhere in the true north strong and free.
Arbour signed a one-game contract yesterday in the cramped team quarters under the Coliseum.
He insisted that this was mostly a ceremonial duty, but Nolan said that Arbour was going to do more coaching tonight than he expected. Is there a bonus for winning for the 740th time with this team?
“Trust me,” General Manager Garth Snow said.
“I’ve heard that before,” Arbour said, deadpan.