On January 24, 1981, New York Islanders Mike Bossy became the second player in NHL history behind Maurice “The Rocket” Richard to score 50 goals in 50 games.
Heading into his 50th game as a New York Islander with 48 goals, tension was piling on Mike Bossy with every passing second.
For more than 55 minutes, Bossy was left pointless. The then-Colorado Rockies and forward Alain Cote were doing a picture-perfect job of making sure the Hall of Fame forward was kept from any point or milestone on their watch.
“You’re thinking of what a challenge it is, and what a challenge it’s going to be to get there. But you’re thinking of everything that comes along with getting there, being mentioned in the same breath as Maurice Richard.
“I dreaded that game, because Michel Bergeron was the coach, Michel Bergeron coached against me in junior, and Alain Cote was the guy who used to check me all the time when we played against the [Quebec] Nordiques and I said ‘oh boy, this is going to be murder.'” – Mike Bossy, NHL.com
But, as fate would have it, Bossy netted his 49th goal of the season in the dying minutes of the third period — and the renewed energy was palpable, making the end result even more dramatic.
It was then that Bryan Trottier spotted a broken defensive play which allowed him to zip it over to Bossy, who slammed home the historic goal past Ron Grahame with just 89 seconds left to play in the game.
“I can still visualize that dance on the ice, I’ve never seen that certainly in my young career.” – Denis Potvin, NHL.com
In May of 2015, Bossy’s legendary puck was spotted floating around on eBay by user Jake Jacobson, who was gifted the puck in 1988 by Bossy’s daughter as a thank you for a swimming lesson.
Jacobson allegedly attempted to return the puck to Bossy on multiple occasions, but to no avail — which is how the puck wound up on eBay. Bossy attempted to contact the seller asking for the puck back, but it was thanks to Gavin Maloof, former co-owner of the Sacramento Kings, who shelled out nearly $7,000 to return the legendary puck to its legendary owner.
“We invited Bossy to Las Vegas, put him up in the Bellagio and are taking him out tonight for a nice steak dinner.” – Gavin Maloof, per TMZ Sports
Decades of searching had led Bossy to Maloof in 2015, and the famed piece of NHL memorabilia eventually found its way back home.