New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy wrote an open letter in the Player’s Tribune today to his 14-year-old self from the future. And it’s everything you wanted it to be.
We already know a lot about New York Islanders legend Mike Bossy’s playing career. We know that he was one the most prolific goal scorers to ever play the game with an average .74 goals, goals, per game.
We know that he’s won countless team and individual awards. Such as four Stanley Cups, three Lady Byng trophies, a Conn Smythe in the ’82 playoffs, and the Calder trophy in ’78 after putting up 54 goals in his rookie season.
But we didn’t always know exactly how he felt about everything. And in his piece on the Player’s Tribune, Bossy reveals a lot about what was going in his own head during his hockey journey. From junior to the NHL.
We knew he didn’t like fighting, but we didn’t know that the overall violence in hockey was something that Bossy
"The abuse will leave a mark on you forever. Your nose will be broken. Your ribs will be cracked. But it will leave a mark on your soul, too. Psychologically, just riding on the bus to games knowing the violence that awaits you is something that you’re going to have a hard time with."
Walk Through His Entre Career
Through a single article, we got to appreciate everything that Mike Bossy went through during his entire career. His fears, his inner thoughts, even his incredible bromance with Bryan Trottier.
We got to see a nervous rookie Mike Bossy clamoring for his coach’s approval, only to get it in an incredibly unexpected way.
We even got an honest retelling of the famous contract negotiation with Bill Torrey.
"“Well, I think I can score 50 goals this year.” It might take a minute for Bill and your agent to stop laughing. You’re not even guaranteed a spot on the team, and this is a good NHL team. Fifty goals? Fifty goals? It’s a ridiculous thing to say, especially for a kid who is embarrassingly shy. I still don’t know where it came from. It just came out."
But if anything we got the real Mike Bossy. There aren’t many moments in an athlete’s life where we get to savor the real person. Not someone acting on pure adrenaline or off of some sort of bravado.
This is the Mike Bossy were years of sober reflection let us understand exactly how he felt. And it’s fantastic.