Mike Bossy left an indelible mark on New York Islanders history and they paid a wholehearted tribute to him Tuesday night at the UBS Arena before their game against the Florida Panthers.
The former Quebec striker died on Friday of complications from lung cancer. He was only 65 years old. Bossy played his 10 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Isles, winning four Stanley Cups.
On the ice, the organization projected Bossy’s famous number 22, which has been retired by the team since 1992. The very sober ceremony, punctuated by video clips from the Montreal native’s career and quotes from him, was watched by her daughter Tanya and her granddaughters Alex and Gabrielle.
“I’m a perfectionist and I like to do things right. When I get involved in something, I want to do it well, be successful and look good doing it,” Bossy was heard saying.
The UBS Arena announcer detailed the former Laval National’s career, from his Calder Trophy in 1978 to Dynasty in the early 1980s, a record 19 series won in a row past his three Lady Byng Trophies.
“Mike forever shaped Islanders history, but not just because of his game on the ice. He could be seen in the community while playing or as an alumni interacting with top NHL fans. Mike Bossy has set the standard for every New York Islanders player,” we heard during the ceremony, which lasted about eight minutes.
In pictures, in pictures
Several of Bossy’s major goals, including his very first on October 13, 1977 at the Buffalo Sabers rink, were shown on the giant screen.
Several former islanders, including his great accomplice Bryan Trottier, paid tribute to him. The latter mentioned that he could always find his best friend on the ice, which helped him enjoy nine consecutive 50+ goal seasons.
In 752 games, Bossy has accumulated 1,126 points, including 573 goals. Only two players have reached the 500 mark faster than him: Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.
The deceased was remembered with a minute’s silence. As in Montreal a few days earlier, it ended with the crowd chanting Mike Bossy’s name.
Watch the ceremonies in the video above.