Former Stanley Cup champion Billy MacMillan has died.

Former Stanley Cup champion Billy MacMillan has died.

A sad day for the hockey community with the passing of former NHL player and coach Billy MacMillan.

Jonathan Larivee

The hockey world has lost an important part of its history.

Late on Saturday night news began to leak out regarding the passing of former National Hockey League player and coach Billy MacMillan. That news has sadly now been confirmed, with teams and even the NHL itself confirming that MacMillan has passed away at the age of 80.

MacMillan appeared in 446 NHL games as a player during his career, beginning his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs and going on to play for the Atlanta Flames and the New York Islanders as well.

His greatest success though would come behind the bench where he would capture a Stanley Cup championship as a member of the New York Islanders coaching staff in 1980, and was even named the first head coach in the history of the New Jersey Devils franchise when they entered the league during the 1982-83 season. MacMillan had previously been coaching the Colorado Rockies prior to them being moved to New Jersey and would continue in that role for the franchise before being let go after the 1983-84 NHL season.

MacMillan's passing will impact many longtime fans of the sport, including many within the sport itself. Former NHL general manager Doug MacLean took to social media following the news, expressing his grief at the passing of his "idol" Billy MacMillan.

We should all hope to be remembered so fondly. My condolences go out to the MacMillan family and all those mourning the passing of Billy MacMillan today.