It is a unique privilege to know the Mike Boss of the Islanders

It was June 25, 2021 in the afternoon. The Islanders were in Tampa for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semi-finals and were preparing for a special division on the team if we won The Post.

Four decades after I did contemporaries, that means I’m going to get another chance to write about dynasty. This gave me a good excuse to talk on the phone and chat with Mike Boss.

Of course, I was always looking for excuses to talk to Bossy. When Connor McDowid was drawn into a fight while playing in the OHL, I called number 22. When Guy Lafleur was diagnosed with cancer, I called Bossy. When the Rangers won the lottery and overall Alexis Lafrenier was scheduled to be selected first, I called Bossie. I could not make a good enough excuse and when I thought I should talk to him I would call him the biggest goal scorer ever.

Bossy, who also works as a TVA analyst for the Canadian network, has been calling, emailing or texting for years, searching for insights into the Rangers. If he was in New York, we would try to get together. Our 45 year relationship has been one of the personal joys of my career.

No more calls. There will be no more email or text exchanges after Passy passed away at the age of 65. Now the memories are only, will be: the best and happiest shared with his teammates and the islanders’ family. Such a horrific attack this year.

On a flight home from Vancouver after the Third Islanders’ Stanley Cup in 1982. From left, Mike Passie, Larry Brooks, Newstein’s Pat Calabria, assistant GM Tex Ehmani.
Bruce Bennett

Very soon, Clark Gillies, Jean Botwin and Passy. But the soul is never far away. Not far from our consciousness. In our hearts it is never far away.

Passy was Sinatra in skates, she became A-No.1, the king of the mountain, and made it her way to the top of the pile. He listed his own course and was faithful to him from the first day of his life until the last days of his life. He was the NHL’s most popular anti – conscientious objector at one time.

He knows who he is; He knows what he can do; He knew what he believed and had little desire to keep it to himself.

When we were talking about Lafleur in September 2019, Bossy said, “One way we can be very similar is that the hand is always open-minded and ready to live with the consequences.” Guy Laughler. “

Lafrenier was born 14 years after Passy was forced to retire following the 1986-87 season, 10 years in the league. Lafreniere presented the Mike Passy Trophy for 2019-20 to QMJHL’s Best Professional Prospect and met the nominee for the award at a post-season banquet.

“I’ve only met him once, but of course you know everything about him, with respect and pride, and feel a connection to him and Guy Laughlor,” Lafrenier told me a few weeks ago. “They’re really the face of hockey in Quebec.”

Mike Bossie

No one has ever scored goals like Bossy, the NHL’s all-time leader, with .762 goals per game, ahead of Mario Lemieux’s .754. When I was writing a freelance article for Sports Illustrated when Bossy chased the 50-in-50 in 1980-81, Chico Resch, Bossy said, “You and I get up in the morning and naturally score goals like brushing our teeth.”

That release. It’s hot. That ability does not appear anywhere on the ice and score. And score. And score. He scored 573 goals in the regular season and another 85 in the playoffs, and when I asked him if he could mention his favorite for the Boss last June, he talked about two of them, and you can guess which ones.

“50 -50 out of 50 could be my career’s signature goal, “Passy said, referring to the night of January 21, 1981, when he scored his 50th goal at 18:31 in his 50th game of the season. The third period against Quebec (after receiving No. 49 at 15:50) transformed the Coliseum into Petlam. “It simply came to our notice then.

“But the backhand in Vancouver in the final was my happiest goal. Something I scored in the middle.

Oh, right. A passerby scoring in the middle with his back hand from in front of the net in the 3rd game of the final. In the middle.


“That’s the context,” Bossy said 10 months ago. “Scoring in the final when it is almost horizontal. Yes, it was awesome. “

He may not have been one of the boys, but he had the luxury of being part of the dynasty. “Guys,” he said 10 months ago, when I asked him what he first thought when he let himself be reminded. “All of those moments, all that we did and shared together.

“You know I’ll always be an islander.”

Mike Passy

But Passy also left the team early in his career. He is not a drunkard. He never went out with the group. He wasn’t really one of the boys, he was fine. He found a loving soul in Brian Trotter, however, and formed an inseparable pair in and out of the snow.

We met in Manhattan in 2017 for a working lunch. “A lot of people ask me if I can score 50 runs the way I play now,” Passy said. “My answer is, ‘Of course’. I could have scored 60. I’m not going to say no.

He’s kind of, the best he’s ever done for a team, it’s always the best, with its four straight trophies and 19 consecutive playoff-round victories, not enough for Passy.

“To this day I think I could have done more for that fifth win,” he told me when we last spoke. “Of course, I do.”

I just heard that record. At the end of the conversation, we exchanged some small talks and told each other that we would talk soon. Oh, how I like it. Oh, I want to call Mike today.

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