NHL

Al Arbour, who coached New York Islanders to 4 Stanley Cup titles, dies at 82

  • FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2007, file photo, Hall of Fame hockey coach Al Arbour responds to questions during a news conference at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Arbour, who coached the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup championships and ranks as the NHL's second-most winningest coach, has died, team officials announced Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. He was 82. The cause of death is unclear, though Arbor was battling a lengthy illness and had been living in Florida. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2007, file photo, Hall of Fame hockey coach Al Arbour responds to questions during a news conference at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Arbour, who coached the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup championships and ranks as the NHL's second-most winningest coach, has died, team officials announced Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. He was 82. The cause of death is unclear, though Arbor was battling a lengthy illness and had been living in Florida. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 17, 1983, file photo, New York Islanders coach Al Arbour celebrates in the locker room as he holds the Stanley Cup after the Islanders won their fourth cup in a row, beating the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 to sweep the series at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Arbour, who ranks as the NHL's second-most winningest coach, has died, team officials announced Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. He was 82. The cause of death is unclear, though Arbor was battling a lengthy illness and had been living in Florida. (AP Photo/Pool, File)

    FILE - In this May 17, 1983, file photo, New York Islanders coach Al Arbour celebrates in the locker room as he holds the Stanley Cup after the Islanders won their fourth cup in a row, beating the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 to sweep the series at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Arbour, who ranks as the NHL's second-most winningest coach, has died, team officials announced Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. He was 82. The cause of death is unclear, though Arbor was battling a lengthy illness and had been living in Florida. (AP Photo/Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2007, file photo, New York Islanders head coach Al Arbour waves to fans as he leaves the ice with his wife Claire after returning to the Islanders to coach his 1500th hockey game, against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Arbour, who coached the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup championships and ranks as the NHL's second-most winningest coach, has died, team officials announced Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. He was 82. The cause of death is unclear, though Arbor was battling a lengthy illness and had been living in Florida.  (AP Photo/Ed Betz, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2007, file photo, New York Islanders head coach Al Arbour waves to fans as he leaves the ice with his wife Claire after returning to the Islanders to coach his 1500th hockey game, against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Arbour, who coached the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup championships and ranks as the NHL's second-most winningest coach, has died, team officials announced Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. He was 82. The cause of death is unclear, though Arbor was battling a lengthy illness and had been living in Florida. (AP Photo/Ed Betz, File)  (The Associated Press)

Al Arbour, who coached the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup championships and ranks as the NHL's second-most winningest coach, has died, team officials announced Friday. He was 82.

The cause of death is unclear, though Arbour was battling a lengthy illness and had been living in Florida. Arbour transitioned from a successful 14-season NHL playing career as a defenseman to become one of the league's all-time best coaches.

Beginning in 1973-74, Arbour led the Isles to 15 playoff appearances and won 119 playoff games — an NHL record with one team — over 19 seasons. His 740 career regular-season wins with the Islanders are the most with one NHL team. He retired after the 1993-94 season, before returning to coach his 1,500th game on Nov. 3, 2007.

Arbour was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.

"Al will always be remembered as one of, if not the greatest coaches ever to stand behind a bench in the history of the National Hockey League," Islanders President and general manager Garth Snow said. "From his innovative coaching methods, to his humble way of life away from the game, Al is one of the reasons the New York Islanders are a historic franchise."

Arbour's death comes at a time when the Islanders are in transition. The franchise is moving from its longtime and outdated home — Nassau Coliseum — in Uniondale, New York, to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn this season.

Arbour was born in Sudbury, Ontario, and broke into the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings during the 1953-54 season. He won two Stanley Cup titles with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1962 and '64. He retired in following the 1970-71 season after four years in St. Louis.

Overall, the defensive-minded Arbour finished with 12 goals and 58 assists in 626 career games.

He is survived by his wife Claire, and children Joann, Jay, Julie and Janice.