Retired NHL coach and executive John Muckler has passed away

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Former NHL coach and executive John Muckler has passed away. He was 86.

An official cause of death has not passed away. His death was confirmed by the team on Monday night.

Death Candle
Death Candle (Photo by Pixabay)

“When you have 22 pretty good hockey players and have enjoyed some success, it’s hard to imagine that the addition of an associate coach would be the final piece to getting the Oilers to the top of the mountain, but that’s exactly what happened when John joined the team,” NHL legend Wayne Gretzky said in a statement. “He was tough, strict but most importantly fair. He helped lay the groundwork to make our team more accountable to each other and that propelled us to becoming champions.

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“A wonderful family man and great friend, he personally took my career to another level. I will always cherish the hours he talked, from breaking down defenses to raising a family. Rest in peace John. You will be missed. On behalf of John’s many friends in hockey, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to (wife) Audrey and the entire Muckler family.”

The former hockey player coached the Minnesota North Stars in 1968-69. He lasted just 35 games.

Then in 1989-90, he was hired as the Edmonton Oilers head coach. That season, the Oilers won the Stanley Cup.

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Muckler also coached the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers. He spent seven combined seasons with those two seasons.

While he coached more teams after his stint in Edmonton, his most success came North of the Border. Besides the Stanley Cup Championship, Muckler also guided the team to the Conference Finals in 1990-91.

His coaching record was 276-288-84. Following his coaching career, he went into a front office role, as he was the Sabres GM. His last position was serving as the Senators GM.

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Despite his team reaching the Stanley Cup in 2007, before losing to the Anaheim Ducks, Muckler was fired shortly after the loss. Former head coach Bryan Murray replaced him.

He also served as a senior advisor for the Phoenix Coyotes in September 2008.

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