In what might turn out to be the biggest gathering of Islanders alumni ever, between 30 and 40 former players are expected to be on Long Island next week to pay tribute to a man who changed all their lives. And the public is invited to join their two-day salute to Al Arbour next Thursday and Friday, April 7 and 8.
Hall of Famers Clark Gillies and Pat LaFontaine will be there, as will many members of Arbour’s Stanley Cup teams and at least nine players — including Pierre Turgeon and Darius Kasparaitis — from the surprising 1993 Cup semifinalist. The alumni are doing it independently and at their own expense, said former equipment manager Joe McMahon, who is helping to organize the event. “They all want to pay tribute to a great man,” he said.
The website AlArbour.com has been set up to provide information about a get-together at Fox Hollow Inn in Woodbury next Thursday, at which players and fans will watch the Islanders game on TV, and for a memorial Mass the following morning at St. Patrick’s R.C. Church, Huntington. Proceeds from the viewing party will go to the Al Arbour Fund, which will benefit research and help for those suffering from dementia.
Leddy’s tie with ‘Canes coach
Hurricanes coach Bill Peters coached Nick Leddy with the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs. “He was an unbelievable pro at 19. He looks after his body, he prepares himself well and his skating is his calling card,” Peters said. “I think he’s had a real solid start to his NHL career.” The coach added that the minor-league team lost Leddy to the World Junior Championships at Christmas of that season, and then to the parent Blackhawks.
Prospect Schempp signs
Forward Kyle Schempp of Ferris State, a sixth-round draft pick in 2014, signed an entry level contract with the Islanders yesterday and will join the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the rest of the season.