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Mike Bossy takes leave of absence to receive treatment for lung cancer

Bossy made the announcement himself via an open letter on TVA’s French-language website.

New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens 1986-87

Islanders legend and TVA hockey analyst Mike Bossy announced today that he will be taking a leave of absence from his broadcasting duties in order to receive treatment for lung cancer.

Bossy, 64, made the announcement himself via an open letter on TVA’s French-language website. Bossy wrote that, “ it is with great sorrow that I must retire from your screens for an obligatory break. 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...” and that, “I can 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.”

Bossy, who spent his entire 10-year playing career with the Islanders, was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991. He scored a team record 573 goals including a then-record 53 as a rookie in 1977-78. He holds the NHL record for most consecutive 50-plus goal seasons with nine and is tied with Wayne Gretzky for the most 60-goal seasons at five. Bossy scored 85 career playoff goals and was a driving force in the Islanders’ run of four straight Stanley Cup championships and 19 consecutive playoff series victories.

Among his awards are the 1978 Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year, the 1982 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP and three Lady Byng Trophies as the league’s most gentlemanly player. Bossy also played in eight NHL All Star Games.

This, of course, is an oversimplification of one of the most amazing careers in NHL history. Bossy’s impact on Long Island, the Islanders, the NHL and the sport cannot be minimized. He remains one of the most popular and legendary players in franchise history 34 years after he retired from hockey due to persistent back problems. In retirement, he has worked in many areas, including spending time as a broadcaster with MSG Network and a radio host, and he has been an analyst with TVA, based out of Montreal, since 2015.

We all wish Bossy the quickest recovery possible and hope to see him at an Islanders home game at UBS Arena as soon as he is able. Be well, Boss. We’re pulling for you.

The battle I am about to wage will not be easy. Know that I will give my 100%, nothing less, with the objective of meeting you again soon, after a very eventful hockey game. You will never be very far in my thoughts. On the contrary, you will occupy a privileged place and you will be one of my motivations to get better.

Like athletes who are about to deliver the performance of their lives, I will need all of my strength and focus. Surrounded by my family and friends, I wish to preserve this sacred and peaceful space, far from cameras and interviews.