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Bruins name Cam Neely vice-president and plan to honour Willie O'Ree

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Amidst the disappointment dished out to roster hopefuls as NHL teams assigned players to the minors on Tuesday came two rays of sunshine from Boston.

Hockey Hall of Famer Cam Neely was named vice-president of the Bruins. He'll advise GM Peter Chiarelli on hockey operations and counsel executive vice-president Charlie Jacobs on club matters.

Neely remains Boston's all-time leading playoff goal scorer with 55. The team retired his No. 8 on Jan. 12, 2004.

The Bruins also announced that they'll honour Willie O'Ree next Jan. 19 to mark the 50th anniversary of O'Ree breaking the colour barrier in the NHL.

On Jan. 18, 1958, the native of Fredericton became the first black player to participate in a regular-season NHL game when he suited up for Boston against Montreal. He played one other game that season. During the 1960-61 campaign, O'Ree was again called up by the Bruins and went on to play 43 games, scoring four goals and assisting on 10 others.

Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators assigned forwards Cody Bass, Danny Bois and Justin Mapletoft, defenceman Matt Kinch and goaltenders Brian Elliott and Jeff Glass to their AHL affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y.

Bois, a graduate of the OHL's London Knights, got into one NHL game last season. In 65 games with Binghamton, he had 14 goals, 13 assists and 153 penalty minutes.

Bass was with the OHL's Saginaw Spirit and Mississauga IceDogs last season.

Mapletoft and Kinch played in Germany last winter. Both played in the WHL - Mapletoft with the Red Deer Rebels and Kinch for the Calgary Hitmen.

Glass, who played junior hockey for the WHL's Kootenay Ice, was 9-24-2 with Binghamton last season. Elliott played for the University of Wisconsin.

In other roster moves:

-Vancouver assigned defencemen Zack Fitzgerald, Maxime Fortunus, Shaun Heshka and Jim Sharrow, forwards Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Juraj Simek and goalies Drew MacIntyre and Cory Schneider to the AHL's Manitoba Moose. Placed on waivers for assignment to Manitoba were forwards Jozef Balej, Greg Classen and Brad Moran.

-Buffalo assigned to its AHL farm team in Rochester, N.Y., forwards Dylan Hunter and Patrick Kaleta, defencemen Mike Card, Marc-Andre Gragnani and Mike Weber and goaltender Adam Dennis. The Sabres also returned forwards Philip Gogulla and Feliz Schutz to their club teams in Germany.

-Boston assigned right-winger Martins Karsums and goalie Tuukka Rask to its AHL affiliate in Providence, R.I. Karsums had 13 goals and 22 assists in 54 games with Providence last winter, while Rask spent his season with Tampere in his native Finland.

-Phoenix assigned left-winger Kevin Cormier and defencemen Travis Roche and Keith Yandle to San Antonio of the AHL.

-St. Louis assigned forward Michal Birner, defencemen Jeff Woywitka, Alex Brooks, Micki Dupont and goalies Jason Bacashihua and Juuso Riksman to the AHL's Peoria Rivermen. Forward Patrik Berglund was sent back to his club team in Sweden.

-Los Angeles sent centre Jeff Giuliano to its AHL affiliate in Manchester, N.H.

-Detroit assigned goaltender Adam Berkhoel, forwards Carl Cordazzini, Mark Cullen, Brett Englehardt, Randall Gelech, Ryan Oulahen and defencemen Brad Ference, Jakub Kindl and Garrett Stafford to the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins. The Red Wings also released defencemen Jassen Cullimore, Jon Insana and Scott Jackson, goaltender Dom Vicari and forwards Neil Clark, Adam Keefe and Jamie Tardif.

-Columbus assigned right-winger Steven Goertzen to the AHL's Syracuse Crunch, and placed right-winger Derek Dorsett of Kindersley, Sask., on injured reserve with a stress fracture in a leg. He'll be out four to six weeks.

-San Jose assigned right-winger Riley Armstrong, centre Craig Valette and defenceman Brennan Evans to the AHL's Worcester Sharks.

-Philadelphia returned forward Claude Giroux to Gatineau of the QMJHL and released forwards Adam Henrich and Brad Schell.

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