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(CTN News) – On Thursday night, Mike Bossy, who led the New York Islanders to four consecutive championships in the 1980s while playing in the NHL, passed away after being diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 65.
It was only last October that Mike Bossy disclosed his diagnosis to the world in an open letter, driving him to leave his position as an NHL analyst for French-language TVA Sports to focus on his health.
It will not be easy to win this battle. Know that I will give a hundred percent, nothing less, with the aim of meeting you again after a very eventful field hockey game. You will never be too far from my thoughts. Rather, you will occupy a privileged position and serve as one of my motivations to improve,” Mike Bossy wrote at the time in French, in an open letter.
Mike Bossy passed away in his native Montreal
Mike Bossy’s former TVA Sports colleague Renaud Lavoie broke the news first. A spokesman for the NHL legend said he was in Montreal when he died, as reported by the Islanders and TVA.
“The New York Islanders organization mourns the loss of Mike Bossy, an icon not just on Long Island but throughout the field hockey world,” said general manager Lou Lamoriello.
“Along with his teammates, he helped win four straight Stanley Cup championships, making this franchise’s history forever,” Lamoriello added.
Mike Bossy’s successful NHL and Hall of Fame career
Mike Bossy only played for the Islanders during his 10-year NHL career, a period cut short by a back injury, but before that he was a benchmark for the franchise, scoring 573 goals and setting records such as 50 goals in 50 games during the 1980-81 season and more than 50 in nine consecutive seasons.
In addition to winning four Stanley Cups between 1980-83, Mike Bossy also won eight All-Star Game appearances, three Lady Byng Trophies, the 1981-82 Conn Smythe Trophy, and the 1977-78 Calder Trophy, for which he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.