He was the greatest goal-scorer of his generation. Drafted 15th overall by the New York Islanders in 1977, twelve teams passed on him. The Rangers and the Maple Leafs passed on him twice. And boy did he make those teams regret it.
Teaming up with center Brian Trottier and winger Clark Gillies, the Trio Grande was a force in the NHL. Powering the Islanders to four straight Stanley Cups. The last true dynasty in the NHL.
While Trottier ran the show down the middle and Gillies added muscle and cleared lanes on the ice, Bossy was out there to pop the puck in the net.
In 752 career NHL games, Mike Bossy recorded 573 goals. That's 0.76 goals per game. Not over a single season, but over his entire career. His 573 career goals place him 22nd overall - nice - in NHL history for goals.
Nine straight seasons with at least 50 goals and five with at least 60. The only year he didn't hit 50 goals was his final year in the NHL when back issues reduced him to only 63 games. He still scored 38 goals that year, a pace that would have seen him hit 50 anyways.
And that's all with a career cut short by a bad back and a bad knee. Bossy was only in the NHL for 10 years and still managed to hit these incredible heights. I'm not sure where else to go with this.
I never met Mike. But anyone who has is left with a glowing admiration for the man. I've never seen Mike play; I was only born in '84. But anyone who has is left with a memory they never forget. So I think I'll leave it with this video from the NHL's Top 100 players campaign a few years back.
How his teammates and opponents talk about him is an incredible tribute to this legendary player.