Meeker Warrior Chronicle: Sports, History and NHL 22

Mike Bossy’s death got me thinking. First my condolences to his family. Aside from the great player he was, what strikes me most when I speak to people who knew him is how much he shaped those around him with his personality, good humor, generosity and love for his family . From an athletic point of view, Mike Bossy is probably the most underrated player in the NHL for me.

It hit me while playing EA Sports’ NHL 22 video game. I was playing against an 11-year-old who had chosen the Legends team. Of course we have Wayne Gretzky in this team and obviously my young opponent had never seen him play. So he asks me what made La Merveille the legend it is. He asks me if he was that good and why he was that good. Why is he considered the greatest player of all time?

I explain to him how dangerous it is to compare eras and risk an explanation. I tell him that you have to compare players to their peers to understand how good they were. No, back then the goalkeepers were not so good technically and the forwards collected more points, but Gretzky was the top scorer in the league with 29, 65, 74 points and even a year ahead. In front of a certain Mario Lemieux. It gives an idea of ​​how dominant he was. Even without seeing him play, my young friend could understand how amazing Gretzky was. A little NHL history lesson to continue when I realized that the great Mike Bossy was missing from this all-star team of legends.

Whether certain players will be on the NHL22 Legends team or not is most likely a completely pointless discussion. This list of players which includes Marcel Dionne, Mario Lemieux, Paul Coffey, Raymond Bourque and a few others is not proof of anything. In addition, several other legendary players such as Dominik Hasek, Bobby Orr, Sergei Federov, Paul Karya, Vincent Lecavalier and others are absent. But Bossy’s absence shaped me. Ahead of Wayne Gretzky (all-time top scorer), he is the National Hockey League’s top goals-per-game average. How could we forget? Along with questions from my young playing partner and the recent death of Mike Bossy, this question made me reflect on our relationship to the history of our national sport.

I told myself that one of the joys of sport is telling the exploits of another era to the youngest who haven’t had the chance to see these legends on the ice or on the field. The fun of sport is debating which of two athletes from different eras is the greatest. It’s debatable whether an athlete from the 70’s would be as dominant in the 2000’s and vice versa. But with this joy comes the responsibility as sports fans to pass on our knowledge, to keep the history of our sport and our favorite athletes alive.

It’s up to us sports fans to explain to the youngest why Patrick Roy is so revered. It’s up to the elders to explain to us why Guy Lafleur is a great Canadian from Montreal, why the blond demon is called what makes him the legend he is and why his illness saddens so many people who hate him , play or do not see.

Sports legends live on forever because their skills live on long after they retire and long after they die. It’s up to us to continue perpetuating the memory of these legends, even if it means making us look older than we’d like.

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