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Ailing Al Arbour 'in good spirits,' enjoys letters from Islanders fans

An update on the health of the retired Hall of Fame coach.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Yesterday at his Facebook page, Toronto-based sports reporter Howard Berger posted an update on former Islanders coach Al Arbour's health. Arbour, pictured along with fellow team legends Jiggs McDonald and Ed Westfall, is still dealing with dementia and mobility, but is "in good spirits" according to McDonald. (s/t to @NYIslesNation and others, who tweeted the FB post)


[UPDATE: The picture apparently wasn't meant to be shared beyond NHL alumni, and Berger took it down, but in this Newsday follow-up from Mark Herrmann the rest of the info still stands as far as how to send Arbour well wishes.]


If you would like to send Arbour cards, letters or well wishes, the address Berger includes is:

Al Arbour

The Pines (The Garden)

1501 N. Orange Ave.

Sarasota FL 34236.

We've heard from other sources that he is indeed in good spirits and appreciates these sentiments.

The coach's medical issues were first brought to light last year, and he recently went through a bout of pneumonia this Winter.

We around here can't say enough great things about one of the key figures of the Islanders' most glorious era. Needless to say, "Radar" is always in our thoughts and we would not be here if not for him.

As a small way of paying tribute to the coach, all of our proceeds from the sales of our Lighthouse Hockey t-shirts go directly to the Center for Dementia Research in Orangeburg, New York, which seeks to find the causes and possible treatments for this heartbreaking affliction. All of the donations from the shirts are made in honor of Coach Al Arbour. The response so far has been great, and a big thank you goes out to anyone that's bought one (or more).

Your participation through that avenue has been noted: We've received word that this gesture around a sensitive topic was appreciated by the family, the response "a reminder that Islanders fans are the best."

If you have the time, take a minute to send the coach a note or message of thanks and keep his good spirits going.