John Muckler, a former NHL coach and executive who was a part of five Stanley Cup winning teams with the Edmonton Oilers, has died at age 86.
The Oilers announced Muckler’s passing in a news release Monday night. Throughout his career, Muckler worked with several NHL organizations including the Oilers, Minnesota North Stars, Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators and Phoenix Coyotes.
“He was tough, strict, but most importantly fair, and he helped lay the groundwork to make our team more accountable to each other which propelled us to become champions,” said Wayne Gretzky in a news release. ” A wonderful family man and great friend, he personally took my career to another level, and I will always cherish the hours we talked, from breaking down defences to raising a family. Rest in peace, John, you will be missed.”
Muckler joined the Oilers as an assistant coach in 1981. He won his first cup with the team in 1984 as an assistant coach. He became the head coach in the 1989-90 season and won his fifth and final Stanley Cup that same season.
The Midland, Ont., native went to coach the Sabres — where he was also general manager — and the Rangers. He was also general manager of the Senators for five years.
Muckler’s last worked in the NHL as senior advisor with the Coyotes in 2008.
Prior to coaching, Muckler played several seasons as a defenceman in the Eastern Hockey League.