John Muckler, former Oilers head coach, dead at 86

EDMONTON — Former Edmonton Oilers head coach John Muckler has died. He was 86.

Muckler was an assistant coach on the Stanley Cup-winning Oilers in 1984 and 1985. He won another two cups as assistant head coach in 1987 and 1988, and a fifth as head coach 1990.

“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,” Wayne Gretzky said in an Oilers 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 defenses to raising a family. Rest in peace, John, you will be missed.”

Muckler won 276 games as head coach with the Oilers, Minnesota North Stars, Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers.

He also worked as a general manager for the Ottawa Senators and a senior advisor for the Phoenix Coyotes.

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