Legendary NHL architect Bill Torrey passes away at age 83


Bill Torrey (Lindsay Mogle, Wikimedia Commons)

Bill Torrey, one of the best general managers in National Hockey League history, passed away at age 83 on Wednesday. A native of Montreal, Quebec, Torrey was the general manager for the New York Islanders from 1972 to 1992.

During his two decades as general manager for the Islanders, the franchise won four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983. The Islanders beat the Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, Minnesota North Stars and Edmonton Oilers to win their championships. It was considered one of the greatest dynasties ever in the NHL.

Torrey was responsible for drafting hockey legends Denis Potvin of Vanier, Ontario, Clark Gillies of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Mike Bossy of Montreal, Quebec and Bryan Trottier of Val Marie, Saskatchewan in the NHL Entry Draft and selecting goaltending great Billy Smith of Perth, Ontario from the Los Angeles Kings in the 1972 NHL Expansion Draft.

In addition to managing the Islanders, Torrey was the general manager of the Oakland Seals in 1970-71 and president of the Florida Panthers from 1993-2001. While with the Panthers, Florida advanced to their only Stanley Cup Final in franchise history where they lost to the Colorado Avalanche in 1996.

In 1995, Torrey was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder. A year later, in 1996, former Islanders head coach Al Arbour was also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

In other NHL news related to builders from Montreal, the Dallas Stars named Jim Montgomery of Montreal, Quebec their head coach on Friday. Montgomery played 122 games in the NHL as a centre with the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars from 1993 to 2003 before his coaching career. The last five years, Montgomery has coached the University of Denver, where he won the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four Championship.

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