Your 2nd Helping of Al Arbour

As my esteemed colleague Kid Canada has already mentioned, Al Arbour will be replacing Ted Nolan as head coach of the Islandersnot always in Sepia!for a day.

Yes, that’s right. The New York Islanders will continue their long-standing traditions of unorthodox publicity stunts and living in the past on November 3 when Al Arbour, head coach during the glory days, will return to coach his 1500th career game with the Islanders. Possibly the strangest part of the story is that the idea did not come not from Wang or Garth, but Teddy Nolan himself.

Nolan explains why he extended the invitation to Arbour: “Every day last season I would walk by that big board outside our locker room at the Coliseum that lists the franchise’s award winners and milestones,” said Nolan. “And every day it would kill me when I’d see Coach Arbour made it to 1,499 games.”

Ok. Fair enough. I can agree with the premise and the idea that bringing back one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game can make for a special night. But, what seems odd to me is that, for a team that has some definite attendance issues, why would you schedule Arbour’s return for the same night that will surely be one of the better attended games with Sidney and friends coming to town? Even if the stunt is just about getting Arbour to 1,500 games, isn’t one of the added bonuses that it may bring a bit of a spark in attendance from those willing to indulge in a bit of nostalgia and/or witness some history?

And I think they should have taken a page out of my high school football team’s scheduling strategy – always book homecoming against the worst team in the league to insure a victory and high morale. Couldn’t we have Al Arbour Night when, I don’t know, the Bruins come to town in early December? (Not that the Bruins are the worst team in the league – just using them as an example of a more evenly matched game. I don’t want anyone from BrusBlog coming here and giving me any shit.)

In other news, the following announcements were made in the immediate wake of the Arbour press release:

  • -The Bruins have signed Marty McSorley to return on Thursday January 3rd against the Washington Capitals for one more swing of the stick to the head of Donald Brashear.
  • -The New York Rangers have announced that Kevin Stevens will return to a seedy downtown hotel to blow one more line of coke off of a hooker’s ass sometime in late January.
  • -The members of the 1998 U.S. Olympic hockey team will reunite on February 19 to celebrate their 10 year anniversary and trash one more hotel room.
  • -Sir Hotbod Handsomeface will be putting together the old Polish squad consisting of a fat guy, a skinny guy and two medium sized guys for one more game of Nintendo’s Ice Hockey in 15 minutes.

Beware the Poles!


  1. Long live the gray-sweatered tubbos of Team CZE!

  2. – The Calgary Flames have also announced that Theo Fleury is having one last keg party in the locker room January 2 against the Rangers. New Year’s never ends for him.

  3. That would have worked better had Calgary been playing in NYC, but hey, you work with what you got.

  4. Those medium-sized guys were pussies. None of the power of the fat guys and none of the speed of the skinny guys. They were the Rene Bourques of the game.

  5. Did anyone ever get an extra goal by pressing “Start” at exactly the right time between periods?

  6. Ted Nolan, worst Canadian aborigine ever. Could you imagine the pieces ESPN would run on this guy’s heritage if they had time to fit the game into their schedule? I see a sitdown with Scoop for a killer Page 2 article in the near future.

  7. Party on, Wang!

    Party on, Garth!

  8. I think the thought of bringing a legend back to coach one more game is a great idea to attempt to raise the profile of the NHL in the States.

    Next up the San Jose Sharks can bring in former head coach George Kingston

    The Boston Bruins will get Don Cherry to come back and coach, with his assitant Bobby Orr, who could score more goals from the bench then the Bruins have in talent at the forward slot.

    And finally to really raise the profile and get Disney/ESPN back into the picture of the NHL, Emilio Estevez errr Gordon Bombay will be back for the Anaheim Ducks.

  9. The Caps announce that Dale Hunter will be returning to the ice right after the Islanders first goal this season in order to take another wack at Pierre Tuuuuuurrrrgeeeeoooonn, who coincidentally will also be on the ice

  10. Bobby Clarke has announced that he will be returning in September to reenact his Series clinching slash on the tender left ankle of Valeri Kharlamov.

    To that end, he has left for Russia and begun scouring Russian flophouses.

  11. Hey Arbour WON !!!!

    Some things never change !!!

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