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Mike Bossy (left) was bypassed by the Montreal Canadiens
Montreal Canadiens general manager Sam Pollock was the team's dominant decision-maker when the team made its dynastic run of four straight Stanley Cup titles from 1976 through 1979. He made many brilliant decisions that allowed this team to overwhelm the NHL as it built up to its magical run. Perhaps the best of those moves was a trade with the Oakland Seals (see panel 1) that allowed them to draft Guy Lafleur.
However, not every move Pollock made was a winner. Take the 1977 draft when the Canadiens had the No. 10 pick in the first round. Pollock decided that a swift but small Toronto winger named Mark Napier was the right player to skate for the Habs. Napier, 5'10" and 182 pounds, was not imposing physically. However, Pollock thought his quickness would allow him to be a dominant goal scorer.
He was wrong. Napier had some decent years in Montreal—he scored 40 goals in 1981-82 and 1982-83—but he was not a superstar. Mike Bossy was a superstar, but Pollock chose to pass on him, and the New York Islanders selected him with the No. 15 pick in the draft.
Bossy, a Montreal native, scored 53 goals as a rookie for the Islander. He followed that up with four 60 goal-or-more seasons in the next five years. Bossy played with the Islanders throughout his career and he scored 573 goals in 11 seasons, connecting on a mind-boggling 21.2 percent of his shots.
The Islanders would go on to their own dynasty, much to the consternation of Pollock