Mike Bossy, four-time Stanley Cup champion with the New York Islanders, dies at age 65

Mike Bossy, one of hockey’s most prolific goal scorers and a star for the New York Islanders during their 1980s dynasty, is dead. He was 65.

Islanders and TVA Sports, the French-language network in Canada where he worked as a hockey analyst, confirmed that Bossy died Thursday night. A spokesman for the team said Bossy was in his home state of Montreal.

Bossy had said in a letter to TVA Sports in October that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

“It is with great sadness that I have to step away from your screens for a necessary break,” Bossy wrote in French. “I intend to fight with all the determination and fire you have seen me show on the ice.”

It’s the third loss from that islander era this year, after colleague Clark Gillies of the Hockey Hall of Famer died in January and Jean Potvin died in March.

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

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

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

Bossy helped the Islanders win the Stanley Cup from 1980 to 1983, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP in 1982. He scored the cup-winning goal in 1982 and 1983.

The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Mike Bossy, the dynamic winger whose goal-scoring prowess over a remarkable 10-year career ranks in almost every way as one of the greatest in NHL history and brought the New York Islanders to four straight Stanley Cups, “said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement. “… Although it was the opposing coaches ‘obsession with him to hold on to and control him in the focus of opposing players, Bossys’ brilliance was unstoppable and his production relentless throughout his career. He thrilled fans like few others.”

Bossy was selected to the first round in 1977 and played his entire 10-year NHL career with New York. He won the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year, won the Lady Byng Trophy for gentleman behavior 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 seasons with 50 goals.

Bossy is one of only five players to have scored 50 goals in 50 games. Bossy is still leading in all goals per game in the regular season with 0.762, and only two players have recorded more hat tricks than Bossy’s 39.

He is in third place in points per. match and in seventh place on the career scoring list. They’re all in the regular season, with Bossy delivering some of the best tracks in the game’s history. In the playoffs, Bossy was even more clutch. He is the only player with four match winners in the same playoff series, and he scored three overtime goals in the playoffs.

Led by Bossy, Gillies, Bryan Trottier and defender Denis Potvin, the Islanders’ Scotty Bowmans succeeded the Montreal Canadiens from the 1970s as the NHL’s next dynasty before the Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers took over.

Bossy was an All-Star eight times and finished with 573 goals and 553 assists for 1,126 points in 752 games in the regular season. He was the fastest player to reach the 100-goal mark and ranks 22nd on the list of career goals. In the playoffs, Bossy had 160 points in 129 games.

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

Bossy was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991 and in 2017 was named one of the NHL’s 100 best players. The Islanders retired their No. 22 in March 1992.

Before reaching the NHL, Bossy played five seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Laval National. He had 602 points in 298 QMJHL matches. Bossy also represented Canada at the Canada Cup in 1981 and 1984, long before NHL players began heading to the Winter Olympics.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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