New York Islanders Legend Mike Bossy Wish He’d Played Longer
During an interview on Montréal radio, New York Islanders legend talked honestly about retiring from the NHL and how he wish he had stayed.
New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy played 10 years in the NHL. Putting up Hall of Fame numbers with 1126 points in 752 games played. But as back pain started to be ever present and limiting his playing time he decided to call it quits after the 1986-87 season.
He’s repeatedly said that he didn’t want to do be “ordinary”. Something he repeats in his NHL Top 100 players of all time video (check the 4:12 mark of the video for that sound bite):
But in speaking on Montréal radio – the same spot where he suggests a Tavares trade – he reveals that he wish he had played longer.
Must Read: Mike Bossy And The Context of the Tavares Trade
During a discussion with Jean-Charles Lajoie, Bossy is asked if he thought Sidney Crosby would consider retiring from the NHL after his third cup due to on-and-off concussion issues.
Bossy answered simply “no”. And proceeds to justify his answer as to why Crosby would keep playing despite the concussion fears.
Skip to the 89th-minute mark for the discussion about Crosby and retiring from the NHL:
But at the 91-minute mark, Bossy talks about his own injury issues and retirement from the NHL at the age of 30. For those who don’t speak French, I’ll paraphrase some of it and include the time stamp of where the soundbite is on the recording so you can skip to it.
What Bossy Had to Say
When asked if he, Bossy, would consider retiring if he were Crosby he couldn’t answer for Crosby, no knowing the exact nature and extent of the Penguins captains injuries. But it led him to talk about his own injury and the diagnosis and treatment of said injuries he had the following to say :
"When it came to my injuries we weren’t able to pinpoint what was causing me pain, so we couldn’t determine what I should or could do to take away the pain. (1:31:05)"
Bossy then reiterates what he’s always said regarding his retirement from the league and what drove him to make such a monumental decision:
"I didn’t want to continue playing hockey with the pain and underperform. It was my pride that pushed me to decide to retire early. (1:31:30)"
Then Bossy indicates that he’d been offered a new deal. He doesn’t specify from whom. As far as we know it could have been the New York Islanders, but that hard to believe based on how things ended between the two back in 1988.
We knew that Bossy wanted to keep playing if possible and if he got a deal from another club. But when he retired we’d all thought there wasn’t anything really out there or that he just didn’t want to play due to the pain.
"I was looking at the possibility of maybe playing 50-60 games and repeating that 38 goals the season before. It was my pride that told me I didn’t want to end my career like that. Today, I tell myself “My God that wasn’t smart”. I should have kept playing. (1:31:38)"
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Mike will probably never read this but it needs to be said. You did the right thing Mike. At least from my vantage point. Take that for whatever it’s worth. But you did the right thing.