50 goals in 50 games is one of those marks that really denotes a legend. Only five players have ever done it and with last year’s scoring leader, Alex Ovechkin, hitting just 53 goals, it’s hard to see that mark being hit again in the modern NHL.
That’s why it was especially notable that Mike Bossy’s 50th goal from his 50-in-50 in the 1980-81 season went up for auction on ebay this year. Jake Jacobson put the puck on eBay, selling it for $6,850 with the note “Sold as is. Chips in puck from actual game use. Same condition as when gifted to me in 1988.”
The New York Post’s David K. Li told the story at the time: Jacobson had worked as a lifeguard in the summer of 1988 in Long Island, where he taught Bossy’s daughter. At the end of the summer, Bossy’s daughter gifted the puck to Jacobson.
For years, according to Jacobson, he tried to give the puck back to Bossy, but “Bossy never followed through,” so Jacobson decided to sell it. It was at that point that Bossy decided he really wanted the puck back.
It turns out that the winner of the auction had the intention of getting the puck back in Bossy’s hands. Gavin Maloof, a former co-owner of the Sacramento Kings, won the auction and has returned the puck to the Islanders legend, according to TMZ Sports.
Maloof told TMZ Sports, “50 goals in 50 games. Only a handful of people have ever done that. I needed to buy this puck. I don’t care how much it costs.” Maloof brought Bossy out to Las Vegas to deliver the puck. “We invited Bossy to Las Vegas, put him up in the Bellagio and are taking him out tonight for a nice steak dinner.”
Maloof said that after getting the puck back, Bossy joked that his daughter was finally “off the hook.”
It’s an important piece of hockey history that was returned. Bossy was only the second player to ever accomplish 50-in-50, following Maurice Richard breaking the seal in the 1944-45 season.
Bossy almost didn’t hit the mark though. He potted the goal with just 1:29 remaining in a January 24, 1981 game against the Quebec Nordiques.
Bossy’s pace slowed after hitting 50, but he still scored an impressive 68 goals in 79 games that season.
Since Bossy hit the mark, three more players have done it: Brett Hull, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky, who got his 50 goals in just 39 games and had 61 goals by his 50th game that season.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.