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Bits: Mike Bossy, Superman, Dad and other Heroes

Celebrating Father's Day with Colin McDonald, retelling the legend of Mike Bossy and hanging out in the Islanders locker room with Superman.

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Kinda looks like he's flying here
Kinda looks like he's flying here

One more day until Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final, but there's still some fun tidbits out there.

Islanders News

  • Kevin at Islanders Point Blank has a little more on the Mark Streit trade, including some notes on Shane Harper and whether or not he'll be Islanders property this season. Harper doesn't sound optimistic.
  • Arthur Staple made an appearance on the Hockey This Week radio program and talked Streit, Tavares and DiPietro.
  • For Father's Day: Cool story from Athletes Quarterly about Colin McDonald and his dad Gerry, who wanted his son to have the NHL career he never had. Fun fact: Gerry had a cup of coffee with the Whalers!
  • Man of Steel releases today. Want an Islanders-Superman connection? How about a story from the Christian Science Monitor from 1980 about Stanley Cup hero Bob Nystrom having a poster of the Last Son of Krypton in his locker stall? Yeah, that works.


Impromptu This Day in Islanders History. On June 14, 1977, the Islanders drafted a skinny kid out of Montreal and couldn't even get his name right. Turns out "Michel" was actually "Michael" or just plain old "Mike" Bossy. It wasn't a name anyone would forget ever again.

  • Out of the Sports Illustrated Archives: The Trio Grande, featuring the rookie Bossy, a 20-year-old Trottier and a positively ancient at 23 Gillies powers the high-flying Islanders.
  • Also, here's an excerpt from Jim Devellano's book The Road to Hockeytown in which the former Islanders assistant GM recounts the legendary story of Bossy's drafting:
In the meantime, life continued with the Islanders on the ice and it continued quite well, despite turmoil with ownership. Added to the mix via the draft once again was another Calder Trophy winner, a hot-shooting forward from Laval in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey league, named Mike Bossy.

In the 1977 draft, we had the 15th overall pick. When our turn came up, we had two players to discuss at the draft table - Bossy, who did nothing but score in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Dwight Foster, who led the Ontario Hockey League in scoring and also was a good all-round player.

Bossy was noted as a player that didn't check, and there were some questions about his toughness. Foster was a better all-round player and a safer pick, as there wasn't much doubt he was going to play in the NHL. There was a decision to be made. I described both players to Al Arbour, who, along with Bill Torrey and our scouts was seated at our draft table.

Al thought it over and his view was pretty clear.

"If you can assure me that Bossy isn't scared, then take him," Al said. "I can teach a player to check, but I can't teach a player to score and we need goals."

So the New York Islanders selected Mike Bossy 15th overall from the Laval Titans, delivering him to Al Arbour who would teach him how to check. The pick worked out pretty darn well for us, as everybody now knows.

The credit for taking him belongs to everybody at the table that day, especially our Quebec scout Henry Saraceno. He was always in Laval watching Bossy and he was sold on him, so naturally when the discussion came up regarding Bossy or Foster, he said "Bossy!" pretty firmly. But drafting is a real team effort and we decided as a group that Bossy was worth the risk, even with those questions of toughness and the fact that he hadn't done much checking in the Quebec League.

Stanley Cup Final

  • Boston's Nathan Horton is "day-to-day" with a shoulder injury he sustained in the first overtime of Game 1. No word on if he plays on Saturday night.
  • Andrew Shaw sure as hell wasn't hurt on Wednesday. But he was mic'ed up during the game and his reaction to scoring the game-winner for the Blackhawks in triple overtime is already a classic.
  • It's never too early to look to next year's Cup final. The early odds are out and Pittsburgh are the favorites. The Islanders are 30-1 to take the Cup and 15-1 to win the Eastern Conference. Place your bets.

Around the NHL

I'm pretty sure R.E.M. wrote Superman about Mike Bossy. That's what I heard anyway.