Mike Bossy Wiki
Mike Bossy Biography
Who was Mike Bossy ?
Mike Bossy, the Hockey Hall of Fame winger who played a key role in propelling the New York Islanders to four straight Stanley Cup championships in the early 1980s, died Friday at his home in Montreal. He was 65 years old.
Kimber Auerbach, director of communications for the Islanders, said the cause was lung cancer. Bossy announced that he had the disease in October.
The Islanders, founded as a National Hockey League expansion team in 1972, won just 12 games in their first season at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island and weren’t much better the following season.
But they began to make the playoffs under the guidance of general manager Bill Torrey and coach Al Arbour, who put together teams that included Bossy at right wing and fellow linemen Bryan Trottier at center, Clark Gillies at left wing, Denis Potvin in defense and Billy Smith in goal. (Gillies died of cancer on January 21 at age 67.)
The Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota North Stars, Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers in their Stanley Cup championship run from 1980 to 1983, then lost to the Oilers in the 1984 cup final.
Canadian-born Bossy was among the fastest skaters in the NHL and possessed an uncanny ability to shoot wrist shots before opposing goaltenders had the notion the puck was coming.
“Mike has the fastest hands I’ve ever seen,” Arbour, a former defenseman who had played alongside Gordie Howe with the Detroit Red Wings and Bobby Hull with the Chicago Black Hawks, once said.
Bossy twice led the N.H.L. in goals, with 69 in the 1978-79 season and 68 in 1980-81. He scored at least 51 goals in each of his first nine seasons before a back injury limited him to 38 goals in his final season. His 85 goals in 129 playoff games were the most in the N.H.L. history of the time.
Bossy scored 573 goals and had 553 assists in 752 regular season games in 10 N.H.L. seasons, all with the islanders.
He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.
A slim player with a slim build, Bossy evaded harsh controls and refused to wade into hand-to-hand combat.
“Guys knew he wasn’t going to fight,” Trottier told Sports Illustrated in 1999. “They’d beat him, they’d nail him, it didn’t matter. He didn’t need a lot of space. The guy was so creative that he could make something special with just half an inch.”
“I probably developed what scouts called my quick hands and quick release more out of self-defense than anything else,” Bossy recalled in his memoir, “Boss: The Mike Bossy Story” (1988, with Barry Meisel). “The N.H.L. it was zoom, zoom, zoom compared to junior. I learned to make quick passes and quick shots to avoid getting hit every time he had the puck.”
Bossy won the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemen’s play in 1983, 1984 and 1986. He only incurred 210 penalty minutes.
He was selected by the Islanders as the 15th pick in the N.H.L. 1977. amateur draft after being passed over by teams who, despite his remarkable goal scoring in junior hockey, believed he did not have the control skills to survive in the NHL.
It didn’t take long for Bossy to prove otherwise. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1977-78 as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year, scoring a rookie record of 53 goals that stood for 15 years. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Personal life and death
Bossy met his future wife, Lucie Creamer, when he was 14, and she was working in the cafeteria at a track where he played; they were married on July 23, 1977.Bossy and his wife had two daughters, Josiane and Tanya,and two grandchildren.
On October 19, 2021, Bossy announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.Bossy died in Montreal on April 14, 2022.
Michael Bossy was born on January 22, 1957, in Montreal, one of 10 children born to Borden and Dorothy Bossy. His father was of Ukrainian descent and his mother was English. Borden Bossy flooded the backyard of the family’s apartment building during the winters to create an ice rink, and Mike learned to skate at age 3.
He dropped out of Laval Catholic High School to join the Laval national team of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League near the end of its 1972-73 season and played four full seasons for Laval, scoring 309 goals.
Then came his selection by the Islanders in the draft.
N.H.L. Bossy’s career was cut short by chronic injury. At the start of Islanders training camp in 1986, he experienced back pain. He missed 17 games during the regular season and injured his left knee in the playoffs, when the Flyers eliminated the Islanders in a preliminary round. Doctors eventually discovered that he had two damaged discs that could not be repaired with surgery. She sat out the 1987-1988 season and then retired from hockey in October 1988.
The Islanders retired No. 22 from Bossy in March 1992, making him only the second player to be awarded the honor, after Potvin.
Bossy’s survivors include his wife, Lucie Creamer Bossy, and his daughters, Josiane and Tanya.
Bossy, who was bilingual, took up business and broadcasting work in Canada after he finished his playing career. When it was discovered that he had cancer, he took a leave of absence from his position as a hockey analyst for the Montreal-based French-language channel TVA Sports.
For all that Bossy and his Stanley Cup-winning islanders accomplished, they lacked the charisma of their contemporary, Oilers Hall of Fame center Wayne Gretzky and Gretzky’s Edmonton teams that won four Stanley Cups in the 1980s.
“We never get a millionth of the recognition that we should,” Bossy once told Sports Illustrated. “We had a very discreet organization. They didn’t want the guys to do too much because they thought hockey might suffer. People don’t talk about us at the first mention of big teams.”
He added: “I guess as I get older I get tired of telling people I scored over 50 nine years in a row. Everything I say sounds like I’m bitter, but I’m not at all. It’s just that when you do something well, like our team did, you want to be recognized for it.”
As for the Gretzky comparisons, Bossy told The New York Times in January 1986, when he became the 11th player in the N.H.L. history to score 500 goals: “People call him the Great Gretzky. I can’t compete with that. I feel comfortable with what I have helped my team achieve. Whether I think of Wayne Gretzky as the best thing since apple pie is another question.”