Former New York Islanders General Manager Bill Torrey Passes Away at 83

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The New York Islanders announced via Twitter that legendary Islanders general manager Bill Torrey has passed away at age 83. The cause of death is not known at this time.

Islanders GM and NHL Hall of Famer Bill Torrey Dies

Torrey served as the architect of the Islanders dynasty teams as GM from their inception in 1972 until 1992. Torrey was the first hire for the Islanders. He also served as president of the Islanders from 1980 to 1989.  Additionally, as the chairman of the board between 1989 and 1992.

He is best known for his leadership during the Islanders first decade and beyond. His ability to combine draft picks and trade for the best personnel was unparalleled. This allowed the Islanders form a team that set league records that might never be broken. Along with coach Al Arbour, his teams won 4 straight Stanley Cups and succeeded in winning 19 straight playoff series.

Mentor and Friend to a Generation of NHL General Managers

Torrey was well known and admired throughout the NHL. Both for his success and his ability to mentor and share that success with others. Commissioner Gary Bettman had the following to say in an NHL.com statement.

“Bill was the first employee, general manager and architect of one of the greatest dynasties in NHL history — the New York Islanders, winners of four straight Stanley Cups,” he continued. He was the first president of the Florida Panthers and built the organization into one of the most successful expansion franchises in league history — the Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Final in just their third season of existence. And his imprint is on virtually every team in our League, as he personally mentored and inspired generations of NHL general managers who have followed him and established the team-building blueprint based upon scouting, drafting and player development that today remains the model for lasting success.”

Current Islanders general manager Garth Snow echoes the sentiments of Bettman with his statement, saying the following, “Bill set the model for how to build a franchise with the leadership he instilled through his coaching staff, his innovative drafting methods and the trades he executed.”

Torrey was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1995 and also received the Lester Patrick award. He is survived by four sons, 10 grandchildren his sister and brother

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