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Former NHL Coach and Hockey Icon, John Muckler Dies at Age 86

Former NHL head coach, legend and Stanley Cup Champion, John Muckler has passed away at the age of 86.

It is with a heavy heart that we pass along news late Monday evening, that former NHL head coach, legend and Stanley Cup Champion, John Muckler has passed away at the age of 86. The Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club remembered him with a post on their website and on social media.

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Muckler spent time with a number of organizations, but he may be remembered most for his time with the Edmonton Oilers. He joined the Oilers organization as an Assistant Coach in 1981 after spending time with the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers. He also served as Head Coach with the Minnesota North Stars in 1968-69.

As the Oilers official site wrote while remembering his legacy, “Muckler was a key architect, along with Glen Sather and Ted Green, in helping to develop one of hockey’s most celebrated professional sports dynasties.”

Former NHL great Wayne Gretzky commented on the news of his passing, saying that he was passing along his condolences on behalf of the Oilers hockey club and said:

When you have 22 pretty good hockey players and have enjoyed some success it’s hard imagine that the addition of an Associate Coach would be the final piece to getting the Edmonton Oilers to the top of the mountain, but that’s exactly what happened when John joined the team.

John Muckler NHL

He added that Muckler will be remembered as a tough and strict, but fair and wonderful man and friend. “Rest in peace, John, you will be missed,” Gretzky said.

After his run with the Oilers, Muckler later moved onto the Buffalo Sabres as a coach and then the Ottawa Senators as General Manager in 2001. He led the team to some of their most successful seasons. Muckler’s final NHL stop was with the Phoenix Coyotes where he served as a Senior Advisor in 2008.

On behalf of all of us here at NHL Trade Talk, we send our thoughts to the friends and family of John Muckler.

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