Mike Bossy, Islanders Great, 4-Time Cup Champion, dies at age 65

Mike Bossy, one of the most prolific goal scorers in hockey and a star of the New York Islanders during the Stanley Cup dynasty in the 1980s, died after the fight against lung cancer. He was 65 years old.

TVA Sports, a Canadian French network where he worked as a hockey analyst, confirmed that Bossy died Thursday night. A spokesman for Islanders said Bossy was in his hometown of Montreal and the team would face the Canadians on Friday night.

Bossy helped the Islanders win the Stanley Cup for the fourth consecutive year from 1980 to 1983, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as a playoff MVP in 1982. He scored the goal of winning the cup in 1982 and 1983.

He revealed his diagnosis in a letter to TVA Sports in October.

“It’s very sad to have to leave the screen for the necessary pauses,” Bossy wrote in French. “I will fight with fire with all the determination you saw I see on the ice.”

This year marks the third defeat since the Islanders era, after the Hockey Hall of Fame Clark Gillies died in January and Jean Potvin died in March.

Daughter Tanya Bossy said her father “is no longer in pain.”

“My dad certainly loved hockey, but first and foremost he loved life,” she made a statement in French on behalf of the Bossy family. “Until the end of his journey, he clung to him. He wanted to live more than anything else.”

Bossy was the first selection in 1977 and completed a 10-year NHL career in New York. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy as a rookie of the year, won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy three times in a gentlemanly manner, and led the league twice with goals.

Mike Bossy
Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders (R) reacts after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 3: 1 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY on April 20, 1978, scoring a winning goal overtime. (Ray stubble vine / AP photo)

Bossy scored more than 50 goals in each of the first nine seasons, the league’s longest streak. He and Wayne Gretzky are the only players in hockey history to have nine 50-goal seasons.

“The New York Islanders organization mourns the loss of Mike Bossy, the icon of hockey as a whole, not just on Long Island,” said Lula Molielo, president and general manager of Islanders. His willingness to be the best every time he stepped on the ice was second to none. Together with his teammates, he helped win the Stanley Cup four times in a row, shaping the history of this franchise forever. “

Bossy is one of only five players who have scored 50 goals in 50 games. He has always been a leader with a regular season goal of 0.762, and only two players have scored more hat-trick than Bossy’s 39.

He is ranked 3rd in the points of the game and 7th in the score list so far. These are all regular seasons when Bossy has released some of the best numbers in the history of the game. In the playoffs, Bossy was holding the clutch even more. He has four winners in the same playoff series and is the only player to score three playoff overtime goals.

The Islanders, led by Bossy, Gillies, Brian Trotier and Defense Denispotovin, took over Scotty Bowman’s 1970s Montreal Canadiens as the next NHL dynasty before Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers took over the sport.

Bossy is an eight-time All-Star, scoring 1,126 points with 573 goals and 553 assists in 752 regular season games. He is the fastest player to achieve 100 goals and is currently ranked 22nd on his career goal list. In the playoffs, Bossy scored 160 points in 129 games.

Back and knee injuries finally ended his career in 1987. He was limited to 38 goals in 63 games and was unable to return to the 11th season.

Bossy was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991 and was named one of NHL’s 100 Greatest Players in 2017.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman calls Bossy a “dynamic winger” and has the highest scoring ability in NHL history.

“Containing him was to check the attachment of the hostile coach and the focus of the hostile player, but Bossy’s brilliance was unstoppable and his production continued throughout his career.” Betman said. “He excited the fans like most other fans.”

Before reaching the NHL, Bossy played for five seasons with Laval National in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He scored 602 points in 298 QMJHL games. Bossy also represented Canada at the 1981 and 1984 Canada Cups. This was long before NHL athletes entered the Winter Olympics.

Stephen Waino

Associated Press