April 15 (UPI) — Mike Bossy, one of the most prolific goal-scorers in NHL history, died after a battle with lung cancer, his daughter announced Friday. The New York Islanders legend was 65.
“It is with great sorrow that I announce the passing of my father, Mike Bossy,” daughter Tonya said in a news release issued through TVA Sports. “He left us on April 15, and he is no longer in pain.
“My dad loved hockey, sure, but first and foremost he loved life. And until the end of his journey, he hung on. He wanted to live more than anything. This life, which he held at the end of his arms, decided otherwise, for reasons that escape us.”
The Islanders selected Bossy with the No. 15 overall pick in the 1977 NHL Draft. The Montreal native spent his entire 10-year NHL career with the franchise. He won four-consecutive Stanley Cup titles from 1980 through 1983.
The eight-time All-Star also was a three-time winner of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, an award given for sportsmanship combined with playing ability. He claimed the Calder Memorial Trophy as the 1977-78 Rookie of the Year.
Bossy also won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1981-82 as the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He led the NHL in goals in 1978-79 and 1980-81.
“The New York Islanders organization mourns the loss of Mike Bossy, an icon not only on Long Island but across the entire hockey world,” Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a news release. “His drive to be the best every time he stepped on the ice was second to none.”
Bossy’s 573 career goals rank No. 22 in NHL history. Wayne Gretzky leads that list with 894 career scores, followed by Gordie Howe (801), Alex Ovechkin (776), Jaromir Jagr (766) and Brett Hull (741), among NHL legends.
Bossy, who later worked as an analyst for TV Sports channel, retired from that role last year. He announced then that he was battling lung cancer.
“On behalf of TVA Sports, we would like to offer our most sincere condolences to the family of our colleague Mike Bossy, his wife Lucie, his daughters Josiane and Tanya, his grandchildren whom he loved so much, as well as his loved ones,” TVA Sports said.
“Mike was recognized not only as one of the greatest players in the history of the National Hockey League, but also as a passionate, courageous, outspoken and generous gentleman.”
Bossy was inducted into the National Hockey League Hall of Fame in 1991. His No. 22 was retired by the Islanders in 1992.
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