Is Mike Bossy the Greatest Goal Scorer of All Time?

Mike Bossy is 1st All Time in Goals Per Game, was Top 5 in GPG in all but one season of his NHL career and is the only player other than Gretzky to score 50 goals 9 straight times.

But nobody is hurt by Hockey Reference’s adjustment for era more than Mike Bossy. So arguably nobody benefited from playing when they did more than Bossy.

So, is Mike Bossy the greatest goal scorer in NHL history?

Listen to us talk about Mike Bossy’s Hall of Fame case here:

Hall of Fame Class of 1991: Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin, Bob Pulford, Clint Smith

Mike Bossy’s Career: 

  • NHL: 1977-87; 10 seasons, all quality
  • Totals:
    • 573G (21st All Time, 5th All Time at his retirement[), 
    • 553A for 
    • 1126P (16th at his retirement), 
    • +380 (15th All Time, 10th at his retirement)
    • in 752 games; 
    • 110.9 PS (23rd All Time at his retirement)
    • At his retirement, Bossy was 16th All Time in Offensive Point Shares
  • Per Game:
    • 1st All Time in GPG and 
    • 3rd in PPG
  • Era: Of the 8 players to play in at least 750 games between 1977 and 1987, Bossy is 
    • 1st in Goals (ahead by 112 Goals)
    • 1st in GPG (ahead by .17 GPG) 
    • 4th in Assists 
    • 4th in APG
    • 1st in Points
    • 1st in PPG
    • 3rd in Plus/Minus
    • 1st in OPS (ahead by over 10 OPS)
    • 1st in PS (ahead by over 15 PS), 
    • 6th in Games
  • 82-game average: 62G, 61A for 123P, +28
  • 3-year peak (1981-84): 80-game average of 62G, 74A for 136P, +57
  • Playoffs: 
    • 85G (6th All Time – the career leader in playoff goals from 1985 until 1989), 
    • 75A for 
    • 160P (20th All Time), 
    • +34 in 
    • 129 games
    • Per Game:
      • 2nd All Time in playoff GPG (career leader in playoff GPG in 1982)
      • 7th All Time in playoff PPG (6th at his retirement – career leader in playoff PPG from 1981 until 1983)
    • Era: Of the 36 skaters to play in 82 playoff games between 1977 and 1987, Bossy is
      • 1st in playoff Goals (by 16)
      • 2nd in playoff GPG
      • 5th in playoff Assists
      • 10th in playoff APG
      • 2nd in playoff Points
      • 3rd in playoff PPG
      • 13th in playoff Plus/Minus
      • 6th in playoff Games
  • Adjusted: 
    • Hockey-Reference:
      • 461G, 
      • 445A for 
      • 906P
      • Adjusted 82-game average: 50G, 49A for 99P (-24P per 82 games)
      • Per Game: 
        • 15th All Time in Adjusted GPG
        • 19th All Time in Adjusted PPG
    • VsX:
      • 494G
      • 526A
      • 894P
      • Per Game:
        • 25th All Time in VsX Adjusted GPG
  • Never traded.

Mike Bossy’s Accomplishments

  • Top 5 in Hart voting twice
  • Conn Smythe (’82)
  • Calder (’78)
  • Lady Byng (’83, ’84, ’86)
  • Top Player:
    • Top 5 Player (by Point Shares) four times (’79, ’81, ’82, ’83), 
    • Top 10 seven times (’84, ’85, ’86)
    • Best Offensive Player (by Offensive Point Shares) once (’79), 
    • Top 5 eight times (’78, ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84, ’85, ’86 – tied 6th most ever)
  • Goals:
    • Leader-boards:
      • Led the league in Goals twice, 
      • Top 5 eight times – tied 5th most ever
      • Top 10 nine times – tied 8th most ever
    • GPG leader-boards:
      • Led the league in GPG one, 
      • Top 5 nine times (tied 5th most ever)
      • Top 10 every season he was in the league (tied 9th most ever)
    • Single-season totals:
      • 65 goals twice (1 of only 6 players ever, 4 at his retirement – Gretzky, Espo, Kurri)
      • 60 goals five times (1 of only 2 players ever – Gretzky)
      • 55 goals six times (1 of only 2 players ever – Greytzky)
      • 50 goals nine times (1 of only 2 players ever – Gretzky – and only player ever at his retirement)
      • 35 goals every season he was in the league (1 of only 12 players to score 35 goals ten times,  4 at his retirement – Dionne, Espo, Bobby Hull)
  • Assists:
    • Leader-boards:
      • Top 5 in Assists once, 
      • Top 10 three times
    • APG leader-boards:
      • Top 5 in APG twice
    • Single-season totals:
      • 80 assists once, 
      • 60 assists thrice, 
      • 50 assists seven times, 
      • 50 assists eight times
  • Points:
    • Leader-boards: 
      • Top 5 in Points six times, 
      • Top 10 eight times
    • PPG leader-boards:
      • Top 5 in PPG five times, 
      • Top 10 eight times
    • Single-season totals:
      • 140 points once (1 of only 9 players ever, 4 at his retirement – Gretzky, Espo, Lemieux)
      • 120 points three times (1 of only 12 players ever, 9 at his retirement)
      • 110 points seven times (1 of only 4 players ever – Gretzky, Lemieux, Dionne – 3 at his retirement)
      • 90 points nine times (1 of only 8 players ever, 2 at his retirement – Dionne, Bossy) 
      • 70 points every season he was in the league (1 of only 10 players to score 70 points at least ten times at his retirement)
  • Plus/Minus:
    • Top 5 in Plus Minus three times
  • All Star:
    • 1st Team All Star five times – 5th most by a RW ever
    • 2nd Team three times
    • 7  All Star Game appearances
  • VsX Peak:
    • Best 7 Seasons:
      • Goals: 11th All Time
      • Assists: 91st All Time
      • Points: 24th All Time
    • Best 10 Seasons:
      • Goals: 10th All Time
      • Assists: 91st All Time
      • Points: 19th All Time

Mike Bossy’s Great Teams

  • NHL:
    • MVP (led playoffs in goals) on one Champion (’82 Islanders), 
    • Best Player (led playoffs in goals and assists and set the single-season record for points in a single playoff but did not win the Conn Smythe) on one Champion (’81 Islanders), 
    • Best Forward (by points) on one Final Four (’79 Islanders), 
    • Top 3 Forward (led the playoffs in goals) on one Champion (’83 Islanders), 
    • Top 3 Forward (by points) on one Champion (’80 Islanders) and one Runner Up (’84 Islanders)
  • Canada/World Cup:
    • Top 3 Forward (by points) on one Champion (‘84 Canada) and one Runner Up (’81 Canada), 

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