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Bill Torrey Dies; Legendary GM was Islanders ‘Architect’

The dynasty designer was 83.

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
Al Arbour and Bill Torrey, co-designers of the Islanders dynasty.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Bill Torrey, the longtime New York Islanders general manager who partnered with the late Al Arbour, several drafted Hall of Famers and an outstanding supporting core to steer the Islanders’ dynasty, died last night at his home in Florida, according to a statement from the NHL.

[More: The Islanders also issued a statement here. Newsday’s column by Mark Herrmann is a good one.]

“Legend” here is not hyperbole: “Bow Tie” Bill was called “The Architect” because he took over the Islanders from very humble expansion roots and set about building a juggernaut, the NHL’s last true dynasty with four consecutive Stanley Cups, and the only franchise to ever win 19 consecutive playoff series.

Florida Panthers v New York Islanders
Torrey greets fans during a “Core of Four” Isles dynasty celebration before a game against the Panthers in 2008.
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

He also had a hand in getting the Florida Panthers off the ground upon their expansion in South Florida, and played a role with that franchise until his passing.

More to come on this, and condolences to his family.

Torrey was universally beloved not just in Islanders lore but throughout the league. Combined with Arbour’s passing in 2015, this is the closing of a chapter that is still cherished in the memories of so many Islanders fans who lived it.