One of the most prolific goal scorers in the NHL of the 1980s, Mike Bossy is dead at age 65. He had announced last fall that he was being treated for lung cancer. Before Bossy’s career ended prematurely at age 30 due to injuries, he had shattered a number of scoring records. Bossy played his entire National Hockey League (NHL) career for the New York Islanders, and was a crucial part of their four-year reign as Stanley Cup champions in the early 1980s.
Bossy won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1978 as NHL rookie of the year. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs as the most valuable player. He is one of two players to score consecutive Stanley Cup-winning goals (1982 and 1983) and the only player to record four game-winning goals in one playoff series (1983 Conference Final). He is the NHL’s all-time leader in average goals scored per regular season game, holds the NHL’s third-highest all-time average points scored per regular season game, and is one of only five players to score 50 goals in 50 games. He tied for the record for most 50 goal seasons with Wayne Gretzky with nine, although his were consecutive whereas Gretzky’s were not, so Bossy holds the record for most consecutive 50 goal seasons by himself. In a ten-season career, Bossy averaged an incredible 57 goals per season, only scoring fewer than 50 goals (38) in his final season.
Bossy was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991. In 2017, he was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history.