On this day in 1957, in Montreal, Quebec Islanders legend Mike Bossy was born. When you go to Nassau Coliseum, you’ll find his number 22 hanging from the rafters and for good reason, he’s the best player in franchise history.
He made his impact immediately for the Isles, scoring 53 goals in his rookie season and taking home the Calder Trophy in the process as a 21-year-old in 1978. From there, he would be on his way to a career of goal scoring.
For nine straight seasons, Bossy would score 50 goals or more. A tremendous accomplishment, and In the final injury-plagued season of his career he “fell off” to 38 goals.
Unfortunately, due to injury, Bossy only played 10 years in the NHL but in 752 career games, he found the back of the net 573 times. That’s a goals per game pace of .76. For comparison, Wayne Gretzky finished his career with a .60 pace and Alex Ovechkin has a .61 pace.
Both of those men are considered two of the greatest goal scorers in NHL history and Bossy blew their goals per game pace out of the water.
In 1980-1981, after winning the Stanley Cup the year prior, Bossy set out to get Rocket Richard’s record of 50 goals in 50 games. Through the first 47 games of the season, he had 48 goals and it looked like he would hit that number fairly easily.
Well, he was held without a goal in games 48 and 49 so he needed two goals to tie the record in the 50th game. We all know what happens next:
Through the first two periods, Bossy was held off the score sheet. But at 15:50 he scored his 49th of the season. With just 1:29 seconds remaining in the game, on a broken play, Bossy got his 50th goal.
Legendary stuff from Bossy who would go on to score 68 goals on the season, which led the league. Happy birthday to the greatest goal scorer of all-time.