Multiple generations of New York Islanders fans never had the opportunity to watch Mike Bossy play hockey. We've heard stories and have seen highlights, envious of those that got to experience his greatness and that of the team that he helped make hockey history.
His stats are hard to fathom.
In the 1977 NHL Amateur draft, the Isles drafted Bossy 15th overall, adding the purest goal-scorer of a generation to a team blossoming with young stars. Bossy would become an Islander legend whose legacy on Long Island will live on forever. Bossy ranks third in Islanders franchise history in assists, second in total points, and may forever remain the number one goal scorer in team history.
Bossy finished his career with 573 goals and played all ten NHL seasons with the Islanders. The closest goal scorer to him was Bryan Trottier, with 500 goals. The closest active player on the Islanders to Bossy in goals scored is Brock Nelson with 241, followed by Anders Lee with 240.
In his first season with the Islanders in 1977, Bossy would net 53 goals in 73 games. However, it wasn't until 1978-79 that Bossy set the Islanders franchise record for most goals in a single season with 69. Two years later, in 1980-81, Bossy would reach 68, one short of his own record.
While Bossy owns first through sixth place in goals in a single season with the NY Islanders, he also owns the franchise record for most goals in a road game with four coming back in 1984 against Montreal. He is currently tied with five other players, including current Islander Brock Nelson in that category as well, who scored four times against Montreal in November of 2021.
"About 90 percent of the time I don't aim: I just try to get my shot away as quick as possible as a surprise element. I just try to get the puck on net."- Mike Bossy in The All New Hockey's 100
Out of Bossy's 129 playoff games, he tallied 85 goals. From 1980-1983, Bossy would tally 17 goals in each of the Islanders' playoff appearances. These are absurd numbers that we probably won't see in the game, given the way the game is now played and how goaltending has improved.
Bossy holds onto the record of most consecutive 50+ goal seasons with nine, has the highest goals-per-game average with .762, and is tied with Cam Neely for most power-play goals in one playoff series with nine. Drawing comparisons to Guy LaFleur throughout his career, Bossy was regarded as one of the best right-wing snipers that hockey has ever seen, and that status has remained for 35 years since his retirement at the age of 30.
While many players may try to reach that level, it's tough to see a world where a current Islander overtakes the greatest scorer the Islanders have ever seen.