Here is the letter that Mike Bossy wrote to 14 year old Mike Bossy

April 16, 2022  (9:00)

The legendary Mike Bossy wrote a letter in 2017 in The Players' Tribune, to 14-year-old Mike Bossy. Thanks to TVA Sports for the free translation, courtesy of Michel Godbout.

Dear 14-year-old Mike, I am writing this to you as I reach sixty years old, and I have news from the future that you will find implausible.

There are 30 teams in the NHL in 2017 and next season there will be one in Las Vegas.

Players no longer smoke or drink black coffee between periods. Instead they drink "smoothies" and they "stretch".

The salary for a 50-goal scorer hovers around $9 million a year and fighting is considered a dying practice.

I know you love this one. You're about to go through some extremely violent times. That's kind of why I'm writing to you, to tell you that you're about to go through one of the most difficult times of your life. I hope you've enjoyed your beautiful nose for the past 14 years, because it will get crooked before long.

The Laval Nationals organization is about to move your family into a new house so you can play with the team. At first, everything will seem perfect. Up until now, your parents have raised 10 children in a four and a half in Montreal. You've never had a bedroom. You have to sleep in a crib at the end of the hall behind a small curtain.

When you think of hockey, you don't see the Montreal Canadiens in their blue, white and red jerseys. You hear the Canadiens instead. That's because your dad never lets you watch Hockey Night in Canada on TV. He closes your little curtain, but your bed is next to the living room, so you never sleep through the games, you listen to them. You barely remember seeing Jean Beliveau play, but you have clear memories of Danny Gallivan's voice going up a few octaves when Jean touched the puck.

When you move to the new house in Laval, you will finally have your own room, but your life on the ice for the next four years will be difficult. When you arrive, you'll be known as a natural marker. But the truth is, there's nothing natural about it. You'll always be annoyed by it, especially when people ask you "why was it so easy for you to score, Mike?"

It was never easy. Your mom likes to tell people about the time you scored 21 goals in your first game as a rookie. While that story is true, the goals only tell part of the story. Because your mom forgets to mention how much time you spent alone on the rink in the backyard shooting pucks off a wooden board. You don't have a real field hockey net, so you hone your accuracy by aiming at the puck marks on the board. Shot after shot after shot until your feet are completely frozen (remember how Mom used to thaw out your feet in cold water because she was afraid the hot water would make your toes fall off)?

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