Mike Bossy, New York Islanders legend and four-time Stanley Cup champion, died Thursday at the age of 65.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin shared his thoughts on Bossy on Friday afternoon.

“Obviously I met him many times. He was always smiling, he was always in a good mood and it’s a sad day for the whole world,” Ovechkin said. “He was a legend and obviously he was a wonderful person. I would say he was one of the greats, like a really good goalscorer, and that’s sad news. I wish all the best to his family. How I said, it’s sad for the whole world, the hockey world.

Ovechkin paid tribute to Bossy as he chases his hockey predecessor for a very prestigious record. Bossy is tied with Wayne Gretzky for the most 50-goal seasons in NHL history with nine each. Surprisingly, Bossy’s career was half as long as Gretzky’s. With 46 goals this year, Ovechkin needs four more goals in Washington’s last eight games to tie that mark in his ninth 50-goal campaign.

“It would be a pretty cool time to be in this business,” Ovechkin said. “Being with Bossy and Gretzky in the same company will be nice. But if it happens, that would be great. If not, I’ll try to do it next year.

This isn’t the first time Bossy and Ovechkin have been linked in the NHL history books. With his 575th career goal scored in November 2017, Ovechkin edged Bossy for 21st on the league’s all-time goalscoring list, where the Washington captain has since skyrocketed to third place.

As Ovechkin continued to chase Gretzky’s all-time lead, Bossy took note of the prolific Great 8 scoring in February 2020. When asked if Ovechkin could break the record, Bossy told ESPN: “A lot of people have asked me if he can achieve Gretzky’s goal, and my answer is if he wants to, I think he can, if he stays healthy.

Bossy scored 60 goals in half of his 10 professional seasons, another seemingly incredible stat from the late Islander’s career. Ovechkin hit that 60-goal plateau once and puts Bossy’s talent into context.

“Obviously these are crazy statistics, crazy numbers. I was lucky to have 60 once,” Ovechkin said. “These guys can score, these guys love to play hockey. It was a pleasure to watch how they played on the video tapes and I was lucky enough to meet him when he was alive and he was always smiling, as I said, and always in a good mood.

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