Mike Bossy’s number 22 has been retired by the Islanders for just over 30 years. It also hangs on the wall of the blue and orange army at the Oyster Bay Brewery.
After the islanders announced Friday morning that Bossy had died at 65, members of the Blue and Orange Army – an island fan group known for their enthusiasm and creative singing – gathered at the brasserie on the avenue Audrey on Friday night to watch the team take on the Canadiens in honor of the late legend.
“When I was a kid, my dad used to take me to Islander games and point out Mike Bossy and tell me to keep an eye out for him,” said James Fesselmeyer, 39, of West Babylon and co-founder of Army blue and orange. .
Several fans recalled interactions with Bossy, including Fesselmeyer, who recalled seeing Bossy in Section 329, which the Blue and Orange Army occupies during home games.
“I grew up watching Mike Bossy,” said Daniel Fisher, 54, of Hicksville. “I got to meet him a few times and he was always outgoing and ready to stop and take a picture with a fan.”
Bossy, the prolific scorer, helped the franchise win its four Stanley Cup titles from 1980 to 1983.
“We knew this would happen for a few weeks but it’s just a sad day to be an Islanders fan even though I never got to see him play,” said William Chiarucci, 31, of Bellmore.
Even with the Islanders likely to miss the playoffs, the blue and orange army had to come together to honor Bossy.
“We usually meet here to watch most games,” Fesselmeyer said. “But we thought it would be appropriate to have an extra beer or two or 22 for Mr. Bossy.”