It was a tribute to both of them, said Neely, whose abundant charity work for cancer patients and their families is done in their memory. Only Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy and Maurice Richard had a better goals-per-game playoff average than Neely’s .617. Next Thursday in Part Three, we’ll throw it back to that other memorable night on October 24, 2002, when Terry O’Reilly’s No. "That was the hardest, most emotional part," he said. “At least that I came to work every night to play hard. “It was a pleasure to play hockey for you,” Neely told the crowd just before hoisting his number between Phil Esposito’s No. Last night, the man whose career here ended years too soon, got to stand and hoist his old number 8 up among the Shores and the Orrs and rest of the Bruins pantheon. Hollywood superstars, former players, Bruins’ brass and adoring fans got the [building] cranking when Joe Thornton presented Neely with his jersey in the locker room – all shown at center ice. They work hard every day and expect their athletes to work hard. Not many people know that my mother’s maiden name is Cameron. 8. “It’s all about giving back,” an emotional Neely said a few days before the retirement ceremony at a partnership event with Tufts New England Medical Center for the Neely Foundation and Neely House. In 1988, Neely scored the Division series-clinching goal, ending a 45-year playoff drought against Montreal. “I never thought about having my number retired. "I was honored that nobody has worn the number," he said. Fox, “I remarked when he was concerned about being traded: ‘What, are you nuts? 7 and Johnny Bucyk’s No. Bruins Daily provides written content, studio produced video, and on location video, all with a unique voice that fans can relate to. Last night, Neely wore it one last time for one last spin around the ice. For Neely, his comrades said, it was always about the team. "Instead of Joe passing me my jersey," Neely said, "I would have liked to take a couple of passes from him.". 8 assumes its place among the elite pantheon of Bruin legends: Lionel Hitchman, Eddie Shore, Dit Clapper, Milt Schmidt, Johnny Bucyk, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Ray Bourque and Terry O’Reilly. Banging bodies, Neely confessed, was what he missed most. Snow covered the event for “It’s extremely special,” Neely said, flanked before the ceremony by his wife, Paulina, daughter Ava, and son Jack. It is considered one of the greatest feats in Bruin and NHL lore, given that from ’91-’93 Neely played but 22 total games. That was why Neely loved performing in Boston, he said. He wouldn’t have needed the elevator to get to the ninth floor tonight.”. "I certainly looked," Cam Neely recalled. Paulina had 5 siblings: Rebecca Temperance Barber , Jane Neely and 3 other siblings . You can edit your menu content on the Menus screen in the Appearance section. His three 50-goal seasons are asterisked with the milestone in ’93-’94 when Neely lit it up 50 times in 44 games; only Wayne Gretzky had done it quicker. “When I was traded to Boston,” the Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, native said: “No. The mission of the Neely Fund and Neely House is: “Providing comfort, support and hope to cancer patients and their families.”, “[Cam] had a vision for a home within a hospital,” Tufts’ representative Tom O’Donnell said last night. "As a Bruin," he told the crowd, "it's good to be home. he said. It worked even better for Bruins’ nation. Copyright 2018 - Bruins Daily. Put postseason play into the picture, and some numbers exceed many NHL greats. In turn, the hip injury caused knee woes. He said, ‘Harry likes you in 8.’”, “I said, ‘Okay, happy to be here.’ Eight worked good for me.”. From the day Neely pulled on the black-and-gold sweater and made his first headlong dash up ice, he was a favorite of the club's blue-collar fandom, who loved his hard nose and his soft hands. © Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company. Both came up short for that first Cup parade on Causeway Street since 1972. "A few times not by choice -- when I was on my rear end.". 5 p.m. Boston Globe SportsPlus (HD) And then, with fellow immortals Milt Schmidt, Bucyk, Terry O'Reilly, and Bourque looking on, Neely and his wife Paulina, son Jack, and daughter Ava raised the 8 roofward. . “I brought the wrong skates,” Neely said. 24 was retired. “It’s one of the highest if not the highest honors an athlete can receive from an organization. You made a commitment to this team and you took someone else’s spot. "Coming here, having those expectations on you," he said, "was something I really craved. How short is the Bruins’ Stanley Cup window. It wasn't the banging alone that got him up among the immortals, though. My dad said, ‘If you want to quit, that’s something you’ll have to live with. He made me understand the meaning of commitment. “The Bruin fan base is the foundation of the Foundation,” Neely said. For the next decade, No. Neely was right in the middle of the renaissance of the late '80s, when Boston became a hockey town again. A stroll down the corridor, a lap around the rink to a rousing ovation, and several minutes of vintage Neely footage to thunderous applause would bring typical Cam Neely humor. He fought back tears during his retirement announcement and choked on the words "permanent disability.". “Thank God it was only one lap.”, “As a long-time friend and lifetime Bruins’ fan,” said Michael J. "It was nice to be able to do that legally for a few years," he said. What Neely did with a piece of wood, a slice of rubber and two blades, however, was only possible because of the heart, soul and commitment attached to his roots. "Not the name on the back. Fox, his old Vancouver buddy, related last night. Now, eight years after Cam Neely hung up his skates, a part of him never will. That’s’ fantastic.’, “You’ve become the best of the best and now you’re up there with them.”. “It’s one of the highest if not the highest honors an athlete can receive from an organization. ", September 8 Mike and Marlene's pugnacious son came here 18 years ago and never left. The name on the banner read Cameron M. Neely -- his mother's maiden name next to his father's. No Bruin had crammed so much production, so much passion into a decade. And then, with fellow immortals Milt Schmidt, Bucyk, Terry O'Reilly, and Bourque looking on, Neely and his wife Paulina, son Jack, and daughter Ava raised the 8 roofward. That's fantastic. All my friends were on separate teams. It was all about playing at a level that I was happy with. Neely capped off that first season with a 36-36-72 total and the prestigious local 7th Player Award voted by Bruin fans to the player who most exceeds their expectations. “To be able to contribute year in and year out.”. Myositis ossification had developed, a long-term deterioration of the thigh muscle. ", When he got word, on his 21st birthday, that he'd been traded by the Canucks to Boston, Neely wasn't so sure. By John Powers, Globe Staff  |  January 13, 2004, How many times, during his decade spent on Causeway Street, had he peered up at the retired numbers hanging from the Garden rafters? I miss that part of my life – getting a couple of penalties and no hand-cuffs.”. In his final two seasons, Neely totaled 91 games and a remarkable 53 goals. The best team, the best city, the best fans. Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, return to practice, Catching up with the Blackhawks via Blackhawks Daily, Craig Smith signing provides a need, but Bruins still have work to do, Blues sign Torey Krug; Kevan Miller re-signs with Bruins, Tuukka Rask speaks on his future and exiting the Toronto bubble, 3 hot items on Don Sweeney’s off-season to-do list. . Neely and Bourque would lead the Bruins into the Cup Finals that year, and again in 1990 versus Edmonton. I asked the trainer for 21 which I had in Vancouver. Bruins Daily is a NHL credentialed media organization that is dedicated to being the leading provider of Boston Bruins news, analysis, and commentary, by focusing exclusively on the Boston organization. Let the record show that over those thirteen NHL seasons from that first ’83-’84 campaign in Vancouver to his 21st birthday when he arrived in Boston in 1986 to a tear-filled retirement announcement on September 5, 1996 due to recurring hip and knee injuries, Neely emptied his lunch pail every one of his 726 games.

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