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Cameron Michael "Cam" Neely (born June 6, 1965) is a retired Canadianmarker professional ice hockey player. He played right wing for the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League from 1983 to 1996. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Boston Bruins.

Playing career

Neely was born in Comox, British Columbiamarker He played hockey with the Ridge Meadows Hockey Association for the majority of his minor career and has been named to the Maple Ridge honorable people list. He was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks ninth overall in the 1983 entry draft, after a stellar season with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League in which he led the team to the Memorial Cup Championship, becoming the first US-based team to claim the Cup. He played three seasons with the Canucks before being traded along with a draft pick (1st choice, 3rd overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, used to take Glen Wesley) to the Boston Bruins for Barry Pederson. Almost immediately, it became apparent that the Bruins had received the better of the deal. In his first full season following the trade, Neely's 36 goals led the club, and his 72 points more than doubled his previous year's performance.

Neely's success stemmed largely from his hard, accurate shot, quick release, and his willingness to engage in the more physical aspects of the game. At 6 ft 1 in and 215 lb, Neely was as devastating with his body checks and fists as he was with his goal scoring exploits. He became the archetype of the ultimate power forward and earned the nickname 'Bam-Bam Cam'. In draft after draft, general managers looking for a combination of toughness and talent would say that they needed to find a "Cam Neely" type.

On May 11, 1991, during Game 3 of the 1991 Prince of Wales Conference Finals, Neely was checked by Ulf Samuelsson, and injured on the play, and was hit again to the knee in game 6. Many thought that this was a "cheap" hit by Samuelsson. Compounding the situation was the fact that Neely developed myositis ossificans in the injured area. The injury kept Neely out of all but 22 games of the next two seasons, and he would never play more than 49 games again due to the incredible pain [although 1994-95 was a 48 game schedule due to a players lockout and he played 42 of a possible 48 games that year]. However, he still recorded some remarkable scoring feats. Only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Brett Hull scored a better goals per game average over the course of an NHL season than Neely did with his 50-goals-in-44-games in the 1993–94 season. Also, only ten players in NHL history scored a better goals per game average over their career than Neely. He reached the fifty goal mark three times, played in five All-Star games, and was named the league's Second Team All-Star at right wing in 1988, 1990, 1991, and 1994.

In the 1993–94 season Neely scored his 50th goal in his 44th game; only Gretzky has scored 50 goals in fewer games. This milestone is unofficial as the 50 goals must be scored in the first 50 games the team plays, counting from the start of the season. Other players have also "unofficially" reached this milestone such as Alexander Mogilny, Jari Kurri, and Bobby Hull. He was regularly listed as a healthy scratch in alternate games in order to rest his ailing knee, and ultimately retired in 1996.

In addition, Neely's intense efforts to come back time and again from his devastating injuries were recognized with his winning of the Masterton Trophy after the 1993–94 season. A degenerative hip condition forced Neely into retirement. His #8 jersey has been retired by the Bruins, making him the tenth player to have a number retired by the team.

Neely was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Famemarker in 2005.

Off the ice, Neely's personal family tragedies, with both his parents dying of cancer, have made him very aware of those whose circumstances are less fortunate than his own. Today, Neely remains active in the Cam Neely Foundation run in conjunction with the New England Medical Center, where patients and their families avail themselves of accommodation at the "Neely House" while undergoing cancer treatments.

Neely has also appeared on close friend Denis Leary's series Rescue Me, playing a hockey-playing firefighter who wreaks havoc during a NYPD vs. FDNY game.

In the eighth-season opening episode of the popular television series "Cheers" entitled 'The Improbable Dream", an uncredited Neely can be seen as a bar patron, drinking quietly, and later, talking to several women as the jokes fly around him. Neely had a cameo in the movie Stuck On You. Neely also had a cameo appearance in the movie Dumb & Dumber, as the character Sea Bass. Sea Bass was brought back as a smaller cameo role in the film Me, Myself and Irene.

Former World Wrestling Entertainment personality Justin LaRouche wrestled for the company's ECW brand under the moniker "Bam Neely", which is a take off Cam Neely's name as well as his nickname 'Bam-Bam Cam'.

On September 25, 2007, Neely was appointed Vice President of the Boston Bruins.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1982–83 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 72 56 64 120 130 14 9 11 20 17
1983–84 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 19 8 18 26 29
1983–84 Vancouver Canucks NHL 56 16 15 31 57 4 2 0 2 2
1984–85 Vancouver Canucks NHL 72 21 18 39 137
1985–86 Vancouver Canucks NHL 73 14 20 34 126 3 0 0 0 6
1986–87 Boston Bruins NHL 75 36 36 72 143 4 5 1 6 8
1987–88 Boston Bruins NHL 69 42 27 69 175 23 9 8 17 51
1988–89 Boston Bruins NHL 74 37 38 75 190 10 7 2 9 8
1989–90 Boston Bruins NHL 76 55 37 92 117 21 12 16 28 51
1990–91 Boston Bruins NHL 69 51 40 91 98 19 16 4 20 36
1991–92 Boston Bruins NHL 9 9 3 12 16
1992–93 Boston Bruins NHL 13 11 7 18 25 4 4 1 5 4
1993–94 Boston Bruins NHL 49 50 24 74 54
1994–95 Boston Bruins NHL 42 27 14 41 72 5 2 0 2 2
1995–96 Boston Bruins NHL 49 26 20 46 31
NHL totals 726 395 299 694 1241 93 57 32 89 168


See also



References

  1. The Neely House at Tufts Medical Center
  2. John Bishop. 28 Bruins Remain. One Bruin Returns, nhl.com, Sep 25, 2007


External links




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