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The greatest Islander scorer of all-time revealed he’s battling cancer on Tuesday night.

Before the New York Islanders took the ice against the Blackhawks in Chicago, their fans learned some tough news: Mike Bossy announced he’s battling lung cancer.

Bossy announced in an open letter (in French) that he is stepping away from his job at TVA Sports on the network’s website.

“Today it is with great sorrow that I must retire from your screens for an obligatory break,” Bossy wrote. “A necessary stop during which I will have to receive treatment for lung cancer. 1-0 so far, but I haven’t said my last word.

“I assure you that I intend to fight with all the determination and all the ardor that you have seen me display on the ice and in my game. That same determination that has helped me achieve my dreams and counting my goals, the one that propelled me to the top of my sport, when I still put on my skates.”

The Isles GOAT

Bossy is, arguably, the greatest player to ever put on the Islanders’ sweater. And he’s one of the most lethal scorers in the history of the game.

He started his 10-year career with the Islanders winning the 1978 Calder Trophy. As part of four Stanley Cup Championship teams, Bossy earned the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1982. He scored 573 goals in his career and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.

Bossy was an All-Star eight times and also won the Lady Byng three times.

Bossy averaged 56 goals per season over his ten years with the Islanders. He led the league in scoring twice and scored his career-high 69 goals in the 1978-19 season.

To put some perspective on Bossy’s career:

He’s the Islanders’ all-time leader in goal scoring with 573. Bryan Trottier is second with 500. Trottier played 371 more games for the Islanders.

Of Bossy’s 573 goals, 385 came at even strength. That’s 60 more than Trottier.

Bossy had 39 career hat tricks, more than three times as many as Trottier (16), who ranks second in franchise history.

Bossy scored 80 game-winning goals, 11 more than Trottier (who ranks second in that category as well).

And Bossy ranks second in franchise history (behind Trottier) with 1,126 points. He got to that number in just 752 games.

Eff Cancer

Bossy’s announcement is hard news for generations of hockey fans around the league. He has been and continues to be one of the all-time class acts in the hockey world.

All Islanders fans are thinking about and praying for Bossy as he battles.


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Tab has written about MLB, the NHL and the NFL for more than a decade for publications including The Fourth Period, Bleacher Report and La Vida Baseball. He is the author of two books about the Chicago Blackhawks and has been credentialed for the MLB All-Star Game and postseason and multiple Stanley Cup Finals. He is the co-host of the Line Drive Radio podcast.