Mike Bossy, Islanders legend and Hockey Hall of Famer, dies at 65

New York Islanders legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Bossy has died at the age of 65, the team said on Friday. One of the greatest goal scorers in NHL history, Bossy finished his career in 1986-87 with 573 tallies in 752 games.

“The New York Islanders organization mourns the loss of Mike Bossy, an icon not only on Long Island but across the entire hockey world,” Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. “His drive to be the best every time he stepped on the ice was second to none. Along with his teammates, he helped win four straight Stanley Cup championships, shaping the history of this franchise forever.

“On behalf of the entire organization, we send our deepest condolences to the entire Bossy family and all those who grieve this tragic loss.”

Bossy, who worked in an on-air role at TVA Sports from 2015 to 2021, stepped away from the job in October while he battled lung cancer.

The No. 15 pick in the 1977 draft by the Islanders, the Montreal native was a major part of New York’s four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1980 to 1983. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1982 as well as the Calder Trophy for the 1977 -78 season and three Lady Byng Trophies for the 1982-83, 1983-84 and 1985-86 seasons.

Bossy finished his career with the most goals in Islanders history and ranks second in points with 1,126. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and his No. 22 was retired by the team in 1992. In 2017, he was named one of the NHL’s 100 greatest players.

Bossy’s 0.76 goals per game (among players to at least score 200 goals) are tops in NHL history and his 1.50 points per game rank third in NHL history (among players with at least 500 points). His nine seasons of 50-plus goals are tied with Wayne Gretzky for most in NHL history, as are his five seasons of 60-plus goals.

Bossy holds the NHL record for most consecutive seasons with 50-plus goals with nine.

What is Bossy’s NHL legacy?

Eric Duhatschek, senior NHL writer: With apologies to Wayne Gretzky and Alex Ovechkin, Mike Bossy was arguably the purest goal scorer the NHL has ever seen, the only one to score 50 goals the year he arrived in the NHL and then manage it again for the next eight years in a row . Only a crippling back injury prevented him from scoring a minimum of 50 in 10 consecutive years, unheard of levels of production.

Bossy found the soft open areas of the ice better than anyone of his era. For modern-day fans, it’s the thing that Auston Matthews does so well now — almost accidentally getting to the right place at the right time to score. Of course, it’s never really an accident with Matthews and it wasn’t with Bossy either. Just instinct—and years of practice and hard work.

Bossy’s importance to the Islanders

Arthur Staple, New York hockey columnist: He was the electric current running through the dynasty era. Denis Potvin was the leader, Bryan Trottier the heartbeat, Billy Smith the fiery core and Bossy made it all sizzle. He was the purest goal scorer in an era of goal scorers, an elite player who refused to bow to the violent traditions of the sport.

Bill Torrey and Al Arbor brought him to the Island to score goals. He may have done it better than anyone who played the game.

The latest in a tragic year for the Isles’ organization

Kevin Kurz, Islanders beat writer: Bossy’s passing is another tragedy that the organization and fan base has been forced to endure this season.

Clark Gillies, a fellow Hockey Hall of Fame member and another huge part of the team’s four Stanley Cup championships, died of cancer on Jan. 23. Jean Potvin, a defenseman who was on two of the Islanders’ Stanley Cup teams and was a former radio analyst for the club, died on March 16.

In January, coach Barry Trotz missed one game and a week’s worth of practice when he lost his mother.

(Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

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