The Iconic NY Islanders Sports Illustrated Cover Photos Through the Years

New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs / Graig Abel/GettyImages
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The New Sharpshooters (December 12, 1977)

A few years before the Islanders dynasty began, the league began taking notice of the young Islanders superstars Bossy and Bryan Trottier. On the day of publication, the Isles were 28 games into the 1977-78 season, with a record of 15-6-7 (the third number stood for ties for those too young to remember).

Author Jerry Kirshenbaum illustrates that Bossy, the 20-year-old rookie suffered a pulled hamstring at practices, and endured some friendly chirps from 21-year-old partner in crime Trottier as he laid on the ice. "What'd you do, Mike, trip over the blue line?" joked Trottier.

While Bossy has always been known as "Mike," Kirshenbaum details the confusion around Bossy's name on draft day and early in his career. Growing up in Montreal, Bossy is part Ukranian and part British. The French media often referred to the goal scorer as "Michel," believing that was the proper pronunciation of the QMJHL sniper. The Islanders even drafted him under the name "Michel Bossy." It took two months into his rookie campaign to correct the organization on the proper spelling of his name.

Known for his scoring accrument while in juniors, totaling 529 points in 260 games with the Laval National in the QMJHL, Bossy admits that defense wasn't always a point of emphasis while playing in juniors.

"I was lazy on defense in the juniors," Bossy tells SI. "It hurt my pride to go only 15th in the draft, and I've been working on my checking."