The Boston Bruins have named former Bruins great Cam Neely as an Ambassador for the team, it was announced today by Bruins Executive Vice President Charlie Jacobs.
“We feel that this is a perfect way to bring Cam back into the Bruins organization in an official capacity,” said Bruins Executive Vice President Charlie Jacobs. “Cam has had such an impact on our fans as one of the team’s greatest players both on and off the ice. He has always been generous with his time in assisting with the team’s efforts and this position is just a natural fit.”
“I’m honored to be back with the Bruins organization,” said Neely. “Boston is my home and the Bruins have always been a second family to me. I’m looking forward to helping them in any way that I can.”
Neely, whose number eight was retired by the Bruins on January 12, 2004, will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 7, 2005. In his new capacity with the Bruins, he will make appearances on behalf of the Boston Bruins and the Boston Bruins Foundation, in addition to entertaining team sponsor and Premium Club clients.
Neely, who was drafted by Vancouver as their first pick, ninth overall, in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, played his first two-plus NHL seasons in Vancouver before coming to the Bruins on his 21st birthday in one of the most significant trades in team history, with Vancouver's 1986 first round draft pick (Glen Wesley) in exchange for Barry Pederson on June 6, 1986.
He earned four NHL Second-Team All Star berths, led the team in goals for seven seasons and twice led the club in scoring over his ten seasons in a Bruins uniform. In 1989-90, he became just the fifth Bruin in team history to score 50+ goals as he set a club record for goals by a right wing with 55. He followed that with a 51-goal campaign in 1990-91, becoming just the second Bruin (Phil Esposito) to record consecutive 50-goal seasons and finishing second overall in the NHL in goals that season. He won the NHL’s Masterton Trophy for dedication and perseverance in 1993-94 when he scored 50 goals in just 44 games after missing most of the previous two seasons with thigh, knee and hip injuries, as only Wayne Gretzky scored 50 goals in fewer games in NHL history than Neely did that season. His three 50-goal seasons in a Bruins uniform are second in team history to Phil Esposito’s five.
Those thigh, knee and hip injuries forced Neely’s retirement as a player on September 5, 1996. He ended his Bruins career with 344 goals and 246 assists for 590 points with 921 penalty minutes in 525 regular season games, an average of 1.12 points per game and .655 goals per game. He remains fourth on the club's all-time goal scoring list and ninth overall in the team's scoring history. His NHL career totals were 395 goals and 299 assists for 694 points in 726 career games and his lifetime goals-per-game average of .544 is tied for 11th overall in NHL history.
He is the team's all-time leading playoff goal scorer with 55 and ranks seventh on the playoff points list with 87 career Bruins playoff points in 86 career post-season games in Boston. He twice played in Stanley Cup Finals, in 1988 and 1990 vs. Edmonton, and scored the series-clinching goal in the Adams Division Final vs. Montreal on April 26, 1988 when the Bruins defeated the Canadiens in a playoff series for the first time since 1943. His .613 overall goals-per-game playoff average (57 goals in 93 post-season games) ranks fourth all-time in NHL history, trailing only Mario Lemieux (.710), Mike Bossy (.659) and Maurice Richard (.617).