A Hockey Icon Is Dead at 65

Mike Bossy of the Islanders was one of the NHL's most prolific scorers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 15, 2022 9:18 AM CDT
A Hockey Icon Is Dead at 65
Mike Bossy, right, of the New York Islanders, after he scored the winning goal in overtime to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., April 20, 1978. At left are Clark Gillies of the Islanders and the Maple Leafs' captain Darryl Sittler.   (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine)

(Newser) – Mike Bossy, one of hockey’s most prolific goal-scorers and a star for the New York Islanders during their 1980s dynasty, has died after a battle with lung cancer at age 65. The Islanders and TVA Sports, the French-language network in Canada where he worked as a hockey analyst, confirmed Bossy died Thursday night. A team spokesman said Bossy was in his native Montreal. Some highlights, per the AP:

  • Bossy helped the Islanders win the Stanley Cup from 1980-83, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1982. He scored the Cup-winning goal in 1982 and ’83.

  • Bossy was a first-round pick in 1977 and played his entire 10-year NHL career with New York. He won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year, got the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly conduct three times, and led the league in goals twice.
  • Bossy scored 50 or more goals in each of his first nine seasons—the league’s longest streak. He and Wayne Gretzky are the only players in hockey history with nine 50-goal seasons.
  • Bossy is one of only five players to score 50 goals in 50 games. He remains the all-time leader in goals in a game in the regular season at 0.762, and only two players have recorded more hat tricks than Bossy’s 39.
  • Bossy was an eight-time All-Star and finished with 573 goals and 553 assists for 1,126 points in 752 regular-season games. He was the fastest player to reach the 100-goal mark and currently ranks 22nd on the career goals list. In the playoffs, Bossy had 160 points in 129 games.
  • Bossy was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991 and in 2017 was named one of the NHL’s 100 greatest players.
  • Summing up: "On a team known for its blue-collar grit, Mike Bossy was the elegant, finely tailored deal-closer, as pure a goal-scorer as hockey has produced, with a prime that neatly aligned with the Islanders’ dynasty years," writes Neil Best at Newsday.
(Read more obituary stories.)

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