The New York Islanders issued a statement honouring long-time General Manager Bill Torrey after receiving news of his passing Thursday morning.Bill Torrey, the New York Islanders first General Manager and architect of the 1980-1983 championship teams, has passed away at 83 years old in his Florida home on Wednesday evening.
Garth Snow issued a statement on the Islanders’ website honoring the legendary GM:
“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,” Islanders President and General Manager Garth Snow said. “He was a pioneer, who became a mentor and even better friend, to so many in the industry. The teams he constructed set records that may never be broken, including the four straight Stanley Cup Championships and 19 straight playoff series wins. On behalf of the entire organization, we send our deepest condolences to Bill’s family.”
Torrey spent 21 years as the general manager of the team as well as the Islanders President (1980-89) and Chairman of the Board (1989-92) during his time with the club.
Torrey was “The Architect” of one of greatest dynasties in the sport. Constructing a team that consisted of five members of the Hockey Hall of Fame (Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Pat LaFontaine), they were and will likely remain the last team to capture four straight Stanley Cups and an NHL record 19 consecutive playoff series wins.
Known for his sense of humor and signature bowtie, Torrey gave the team a true identity when he hired Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour in 1973 to lead his young team. Arbour would retire second on the NHL’s all time wins list (he is now third).
Torrey was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1995 and was honored with a banner alongside six of his players and Hall of Fame coach. He stepped down from the general manager position in 1993 to join the expansion Florida Panthers and took them to a Stanley Cup Final in only three seasons. He retired in 2001.
The Islanders honored Torrey with a banner that simply reads: “The Architect” with a bowtie above it. A perfect tribute to the man who constructed a winner.