Died Mike Bossi, the silent hero of the Wilders, who won the Stanley Cup

My God: Mike Bossi, after his wonderful hockey career ended, felt that the New York Islanders were underrated. Who could say?

Bossi, who died Friday at the age of 65, was irreplaceable artist – as they say in his native Quebec – from the greatest team I have ever covered: so many great players and mentalities that passed, game after game.

In one memorable Stanley Cup final round in 1982, I witnessed Bossi score the winning goal in overtime in the first game, and in the third game, in Vancouver, his antagonist Tiger Williams sent in flight just to score a goal. being in the air. Incomparable.

However Bossi once told Sports Illustrated that he feels the islanders are not appreciated.

Just because the Islanders played in a boring barn in the flat suburbs of Long Island?

Just because the Islanders were a thrifty and restrained organization that viewed the Stanley Cup final as another home game?

Just because a rival and non-producing rangers attracted more attention by getting out of Manhattan watering holes long after the game?

Just because the Edmonton Oilers had a mystery and – quite rightly – a scorer nicknamed the “Great Greek?”

Barefoot was pale, quiet present on the ice, and in a quiet locker room, with his cigarette after the game. (I have often mentioned this harmful presence; I think of it now that he has died of lung cancer.)

Sports geniuses aren’t necessarily the best guys for journalists looking for understanding after winning or losing. But Bossi was as decent as they were, eager to comment on the state of the club. And it was a great club for people – the serious Bob Nistrom, the penetrating Bob Bourne, the cheerful cool guy Clark Gillis, the stand of Denis Potwin and the bilingual Swedes Anders Kalur and Stefan Persson. Unrated? Not by my.

I still consider them “Winter Guys”, a paraphrase of Roger Kahn’s homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers – “Summer Guys”. Such memorable characters, including the dead El Arbor, who shone behind his glasses, the bully behind the bench, who picks up players who could take it.

Barefoot? Arbor told him to come out and score goals. Here’s how you feel about a resident artist.

Barefoot had a touch. He designed it on a flooded rink in his family’s backyard in Montreal. (Another favorite hockey artist My Pierre LaRouche from Quebec talks about hearing – hearing – about the speed and direction when the puck is thrown on a frozen pond long after sunset. Watch the sound.)

When Bossi invented the Islanders in 1977-78, he was soon teamed up with two allies to form a unit that lasted ten years. Hockey lines – run for a minute or two and then dive on the bench to regain energy – are unlike any other team on the team in the sport.

Bossi was paired with Gilis, who could kill and defend as well as win Putin from an annoying opponent, and Brian Trotier, a two-way artist – scorer and pass, plus a cold-blooded killer. Troty and his friend Bosi were friends, so different in style and temperament, wonderfully complementing each other.

Sometimes artists just win the game. It’s been four decades since the Vancouver Canucks came to Long Island to open the Stanley Cup final series.

Within the dirty confines of the Nassau Colosseum the Canucks battled the home team in overtime in the first game, while experienced defender Harold Snapst controlled the puck. Snapst saw the lane open and tossed the puck aside – insistent Tiger Williams claimed he was shouting for a teammate to hold on to the puck – but out of the shadows and icy glow came Mike Bossie, instinct and experience, intercepting the pass and once for the purpose. death.

In the second game, the Islanders won, and both teams flew across the continent. In the third game, Williams rushed in front of home fans if he could, begging Bossi. But Bossi managed to score, being almost horizontal over the ice, to score, and the Islanders won the third game and the fourth – artist at the peak of his skill.

Two years later, the Islanders won four Stanley Cups in a row and faced the maturing Oilers. The teams shared the first two games on Long Island and then traveled to Alberta for three games in a row. The Islanders seemed to be skating on the surface of the Slurpis, their key players going through one extra season of grueling Stanley Cup hockey, and the Islanders not winning a single game in Edmonton. The run was over.

Now the people of the island had to talk or not talk about dethronement. The following paragraphs give an idea of ​​what kind of person Mike Bossi was:

“It’s the most frustrating thing I’ve ever felt in my career,” Bossi said. “There has always been a feeling that we can overcome our failures. We were even on the border earlier this year. But you never feel it will happen. It’s a devastating feeling. “

Asked if he noticed the young Oilers rushing to celebrate in the middle of the ice when seconds go by, Bossi showed the sympathy we expected: “It reminded me of when we first won the Cup. Feeling: “Finally we won.” That’s what I felt in them. “

We tried to subtly suggest that the Islanders could have jumped into hockey old age, after losing the Cup for the first time and facing the inevitable changes.

“I love every guy on this team,” Bossi said. “To think that some of them may not be here is depressing. You hate to see guys with whom you have had good emotional moments. But this is a matter for the organization. “

Bossi asked if it helped to understand that the Islanders were overthrown by a good team, not a lucky team. He said: “They’re a good team, no doubt, but it doesn’t help much.”

He finished three more seasons, somewhat cautiously, on a sinewy body that was too often beaten and beaten. He left behind great statistics and became a humorous commentator in French and English about hockey and life itself. When he returned to Long Island, he was just as affordable as ever.

Were the Islanders – and Mike Bossi – underrated at the highest level of their sport? Not here.

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