Mike Bossy, the hockey top scorer and New York's star in the 1980s, has died. He is 65.
Bossy of The Islanders and TVA Sports, a French language network in Canada working as a hockey observer, confirmed his death Thursday night. A spokesman for the group said Bossy was in his hometown of Montreal.
In a letter to TVA Sports in October, Bossy was diagnosed with lung cancer.
"It's so sad that I have to get off your screens to take the necessary pause," Bossy wrote in French. "I intend to fight the spirits you have seen on the ice."
This is the third loss of the islanders' era this year, after Jane Powen, who died in January, and Clark Gillies, a hockey roommate, who died in March.
"The New York Islanders Association is deeply saddened by the loss of Mike Bossy, an icon not only on Long Island but also in the world of hockey," said Lou Lamoriello, chairman and general manager of the Islanders. "Every time he climbed the ice, his drive to become the best he could be was second to none. He helped his team-mates win four consecutive Stanley Cup titles and forever shaped the history of this franchise."
Daughter Tanya Bossy says her father "is not in pain anymore."
"My father certainly loved hockey, but he loved life first and foremost," she said in a statement in French on behalf of the Bossy family. "He stayed until the end of his journey. He wanted to live above all else."
Bossy won the Stanley Cup with the Irish from 1980 to 1983, and in 1982 won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. He scored trophies in 1982 and 1983.
"We are saddened by the death of winger Mike Bossy, one of the greatest players in NHL history, who has scored amazing goals in 10 years," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "... Holding him's checks the attention of the opposition coaches and the attention of the players who oppose him, but Bossy's ingenuity is unstoppable and his production has been relentless throughout his life. He delights fans like any other minority."
In the first round selection in 1977, Bossy spent the rest of his 10-year NHL career in New York. He won the Calder Trophy as Newcomer of the Year, the Lady Byng Trophy three times for his manners and twice as many league leaders.
Bossy scored 50 or more goals in his first nine seasons, the longest in the league. He and Wayne Gretzky are the only players in hockey history to score 50 goals in nine seasons.
Bossy is the only one of five players to score 50 goals in 50 games, a full-time leader with 0.762 goals per game in the regular season, and only two of Bossy's 39 hat-tricks on record.
He is third in points per game and seventh in the career standings. When Bossy mentions some of the best numbers in game history, they are all in the regular season. In the playoffs, Bossy was even more confused. He is the only player to have won four of the same four-match playoff series, scoring three goals in overtime.
Bossy Gillies The islanders, led by Bryan Trottier and Commander-in-Chief Denis Potvin, succeeded Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers as successors to Scotland Bowman's NHL after the 1970s Montreal Canadiens.
Bossy is an eight-time All-Star with 573 goals and 553 assists, 553 assists and 1,126 points, making 752 regular season appearances. He was the fastest player to score 100 goals and is ranked 22nd in the career goals list. In the knockout stages, Bossy scored 160 points in 129 games.
A back and knee injury eventually ended his playing career in 1987. He scored 38 goals but made just 63 appearances and missed 11 seasons.
Bossy was featured in the Hall of Fame in 1991 and was named one of the NHL's 100 Best Players in 2017. The islanders retired in March 1992 at No. 22.
Prior to joining the NHL, Bossy played five seasons in the Laval National and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He scored 602 points in 298 QMJHL games. Bossy represented Canada at the 1981 and 1984 Canada Cups, and NHL players represented them shortly before the start of the Winter Olympics.
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