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November 26, 2015

Greg Hickey

Greg Hickey, brother of the solid NHLer Pat Hickey, only got into one NHL game, and had the unenviable task of shadowing perhaps the NHL's greatest sniper ever - Mike Bossy.

"(Coach John Ferguson) told me that I was going to stay with Mike Bossy and to make sure he didn't a goal," said Hickey, who accepted the challenge.

"So it's a televised game and (Bossy) can't get away from me. I was on him like a piece of dirt. Where he went, I went. At one point, he was circling around in center ice, and there I was following him. I felt like an idiot, but I was doing my job. He hadn't scored, but he would stay back and let Denis Potvin go up and score."

Team leader Walt Tkaczuk gave Hickey some advice while the two were on the bench. The advice wasn't quite the same as what Coach Ferguson told Hickey to do.

"I was sitting with Walt Tkaczuk on the bench and i says, "What's going on here? We have to get back in the game. We have score some goals." He told me, "Just play your game. Go up and down your wing and if you leave him, make sure someone else picks him up." Him being Bossy of course.

On the next shift, Hickey leaves Bossy for the first time, and yells to Carol Vadnais to cover the Islander superstar. Hickey raced out to cover the point, only to have the Isles move the puck back down low. By the time Hickey turned around, he had the best seat in the house to watch Bossy score his first goal of the game.

Coach Ferguson probably wasn't impressed, but did promise Hickey future chances in the NHL. However by the following season Ferguson was replaced behind the bench by Fred Shero, who felt Hickey was much too small, and thus never used him. Hickey was buried in the minor leagues for the remainder of his career.

Greg would go on to become a golf pro, golf coach and golf course manager in Ontario.

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