It came to the two heavyweights former New York Islanders players in our fan-voted bracket challenge. And the outcome was heavily one sided.
Voting took place over a 24 hours period on twitter where fans came out and in an overwhelming count, voted for Mike Bossy over Denis Potvin by a margin of 75%-25%.
The outcome was shocking in how one-sided it was. When Denis Potvin went up against Bryan Trottier in the second divisional round the votes were 54-46 in favor of Potvin. That’s what you expect when two legends go head-to-head.
Maybe Mike Bossy’s 81-18 second round win over Clark Gillies should have been a strong indication of what was to come. Sure, Gillies isn’t Trottier, but he’s still a Hall of Fame player that continues to have a lasting impact on this team and its fanbase.
Or maybe it should have been when Bossy tossed aside John Tavares by a margin of 73-27. When the past can easily get beyond both the present and future of the franchise it’s time to take note on just how much this fanbase loves him.
Whatever reason you have for liking Mike Bossy, it’s all thanks to the ridiculous achievements he accomplished in his short tenure in the NHL.
In ten years with the Islanders, Bossy only scored less than 50 goals once. It was his final year with the team when persistent back problems started taking their toll.
He won the Lady Byng for most gentlemanly player in the league three times between 1982 and 1986.
He won the Conn Smythe trophy in 1981-82, after a 27 point (17 goals, 10 assists) in 19 games played as the Islanders won their third Stanley Cup in a row.
He won the Calder trophy in 1977-78 for an astounding 53 goals and 38 assists in his rookie year.
All to go along with the four back-to-back Stanley Cup rings that he helped the Islanders win with 111 points in 72 playoff games.
What Mike Bossy meant to this franchise is immeasurable. He, along with the cast of players voted on throughout this bracket, turned this franchise into world beaters. In the early 80’s there wasn’t a team better than the Islanders.
We’ve fallen significantly since then, but what guys like Bossy, Potvin, Trottier, Gillies, and Smith remind us is how it’s still possible. It’s going to take some luck, cunning, risk taking, and in our case a significant amount of patience, but it’s possible.