Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Bossy battling lung cancer

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame inductee, former hockey great Mike Bossy, smiles during a news conference in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 25, 2007. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Mike Bossy, hockey legend turned sports analyst, announced Tuesday in an open letter broadcast on TVA Sports that he is battling lung cancer.

“It is with great sorrow that I must retire from your screens for an obligatory break,” the former Islanders player wrote in French.

“It’s a necessary stop during which I will have to undergo treatment for lung cancer,” he continued.

“One-zero so far, but I haven’t said my last word… I intend to fight with all the determination and all the ardour that you have seen me display on the ice and in my game.”

Referring to his viewers, he added, “You will never be far in my thoughts. On the contrary, you will occupy a privileged place and will be on of my motivations to get better.”

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Bossy compared the forthcoming challenges like an athlete about to deliver the performance of their life.

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“I will need all of my strength and focus,” he said.

The 64-year-old helped the Islanders win four straight Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983.

In 10 seasons with the NHL — all with the New York Islanders — the Montreal native scored 573 goals and 553 assists.

Recipient of the Calder Trophy (1977-1978) and the Conn Smythe (1981-1982), Bossy also won the Lady Byng on three occasions.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and scored at least 50 goals 9 times, an NHL record he shares with Wayne Gretzky.

— with files from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier

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