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New York Islanders

On Hockey Fights Cancer Night, We Remember Gillies, Potvin, & Bossy



New York Islanders

Last season was one of the worst years in New York Islanders’ history. Forget about how the team played, the Islanders lost three tremendous players to cancer, in Clark Gillies (1954-2022), Jean Potvin (1949-2022), and Mike Bossy (1977-2022).

All three players left tremendous imprints on the New York Islanders organization and the fan base as they played critical roles in the New York Islanders’ four straight Stanley Cup Championships from 1979 to 1982.

All three deaths occurred in a three-month span, leaving three unfillable holes in the community.

On Saturday night, the New York Islanders held “Hockey Fights Cancer Night,” as they honored the greats they lost in 2022.

The Islanders also raised awareness and money for cancer research. Fans at the game held up “I Stand For” signs during a T.V. timeout in the first period, in partnership with the foundation Stand Up To Cancer.


Three braves souls came out on the ice to drop the puck to New York Islanders captain Anders Lee and Columbus Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner:

It was an emotional night at UBS Arena as everyone has had cancer affect their lives in one way or another, whether it has been a personal battle or have seen family, friends, or colleagues put up the good fight.

In honor of the New York Islanders who lost their battles with cancer in 2022, here are tribute pieces on how much each of them meant to the New York Islanders organization:

Remember Clark Gillies

When I left Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, some 22 years ago to come to Long Island and become a part of the New York Islander organization, little did I know at that time that I’d be standing up here before you, getting ready to have my jersey raised to the ceiling. It is a great, great honor to be going up there with the likes of Denny and Boss and Smitty, and my great friend Bobby Nystrom. I am truly, truly honored…”

Those were the words of New York Islanders legend Clark Gillies back on Dec. 7, 1996, when his no. 9 was immortalized by the franchise and sent to the rafters of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Islanders Community Reacts to Loss of Clark Gillies

Remembering Jean Potvin

Jean Potvin was the older brother of Denis Potvin, whose no. 5 hangs in the rafters of UBS Arena. Denis served as the captain of the New York Islanders from 1979-1987, winning four straight Stanley Cups with the “C” on his jersey.

He joined the Islanders during the 1972-73 season and played five seasons on Long Island before he was dealt to the Cleveland Barons during the 1977-78 season, the year before the New York Islanders won their first-ever Stanley Cup.

Jean was back with his brother before the start of the 1979-80 season, the first season that Denis took over as the captain of the Islanders. Jean was part of two Stanley Cup victories before retiring from the NHL in 1981 after an 11-year NHL career.

Two-Time Stanley Cup Champion Jean Potvin Passes Away

Remembering Mike Bossy

Mike Bossy’s career was not a long one, as he spent just 10 years in the NHL before a chronic back injury forced him to hang his skates up following the 1986-87 season.

Mike Bossy was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991, and his no. 22 was sent to the Nassau Coliseum rafters in 1992.

“Though his career spanned just a decade, it burned as brilliantly as a comet against a Long Island sky.”

Drafted 15th overall in 1977, Mike Bossy became one of the greatest goal scorers the National Hockey League has ever seen.

Mike Bossy 1957-2022; Islanders Legend Passes Away


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