Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NHL Hockey Trivia: Al Arbour

al arbour 1958-59 topps hockey card chicago blackhawks
Al Arbour played 626 games in the National Hockey League from 1953-54 to 1970-71. Yet it was his accomplishments as a head coach with the New York Islanders than earned him a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Test and expand your knowledge of Al Arbour and the NHL with these hockey trivia questions.

Q. What team did Al Arbour begin his NHL career with?

A. Arbour began his NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings during the 1953-54 season. Arbour played with Detroit until the end of the 1957-58 season. He began the next year with the Chicago Black Hawks. He would also play for the St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs.

In 1953-54, Al played in 36 games with the Red Wings and contributed just one assists. He also appeared in 19 games in the QHL with the Sherbrooke Saints. Arbour would not play in the National Hockey League again until the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1955-56. After a full season in the WHL with the Edmonton Flyers, Al joined the Red Wings for the playoffs. He played in four of the team’s ten post season games as Detroit fell in the finals to the Montreal Canadiens.

Q. What team did Al Arbour play his final NHL game with?

A. Arbour played his final season, 1970-71 with the St. Louis Blues. He took over as head coach of the Blues during that season. In that final year, Arbour played just 22 regular season games. He was credited with 50 games as head coach of the team before being replaced by Scotty Bowman. In the playoffs, Al played another six games for the Blues. St. Louis fell in the opening round to the Minnesota North Stars in six games, ending their run of consecutive Stanley Cup finals appearances at three. In his four years as a player with St. Louis, Arbour served as team captain.

Q. How many years did Al Arbour coach the New York Islanders?

A. Arbour coached the Islanders for nineteen seasons, beginning in 1973-74. He coached through to the end of the 1985-86 season. He then took over as head coach again in 1988-89 and lasted until the end of the 1993-94 season. He coached one game in the 2007-08 season.

Q. How many Stanley Cup winning teams did Al Arbour coach?

A. Arbour coached the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1979-80 to 1982-83. These were the only four Stanley Cups that Arbour would win. Leading up to that dynastic run, the Islanders reached the final four in four of Al’s first six years behind the bench in Long Island. The team fell in the semi-finals in 1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77 and 1978-79. In 1983-84, New York reached the final again, looking for their fifth straight championship but fell to the Edmonton Oilers in five games. Arbour reached the semi-finals one more time, losing to the Montreal Canadiens in 1992-93.

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