There are a few staples of hockey history I feel everyone should know. Examples include the Miracle on Ice, the 1972 Summit Series, Richard Riots, and a general knowledge of the dynasties over the years.
The head coach of the best one has recently passed.
Al Arbour coached the New York Islanders for a total of 19 different seasons, most notably during the Islanders dynasty during the early 80s. He won four straight Stanley Cups starting with the ’79-’80 season until the ’82-’83 season. Combined with a trip to the ’84 Finals, he led the team to 19 straight playoff series wins, a record that still stands, and especially during the salary cap era (where the Blackhawks have a ‘dynasty’ with three championships in six years) will never be matched.
Arbour’s last full season was in 1994 with 1,499 total games coached. In 2007, Islanders coach at the time Ted Nolan took a back seat to let Arbour coach number 1,500. The Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. He finished with the second most wins and games coached of all-time following Scotty Bowman. He won three Stanley Cups as a defenseman with three different teams (Detroit, Chicago, Toronto). He was elected in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.
Arbour passed at the age of 82.
In the next chapter of the saga that will never end, the University of North Dakota officially announced the process for the voting of a new nickname. UND announced the process and dates for voting on the remaining options of Fighting Hawks, Nodaks, North Stars, Roughriders, and Sundogs. The ‘no-nickname’ option has been completely eliminated, as that option would be unofficially keeping the Fighting Sioux name that was deemed hostile and abusive by the NCAA.
One of my future columns will discuss my thoughts about the saga. Look for that before the season officially begins. The vote will take place in October and will be voted on by students, alum, faculty, donors, and season ticket holders of all sports.
Lastly, the Chicago Steel fell 5-2 to Sweden’s Djurgarden in the Junior Club World Cup semifinals. They will play at 5 a.m. Sunday morning against the host team of Avto, the same team that the Steel beat 6-1 Thursday and ended with a brawl. Should be an exciting rematch.
That’s the end of the shift. Have a great weekend!