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Hockey great, Cam Neely, was born on June 6, 1965, in Comox, British Columbia. Cam Neely played right wing in the NFL from 1983 to 1996. He is currently the Vice President of the Boston Bruins.
Cam Neely was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks as the ninth overall pick 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 in Vancouver before being traded along with a draft pick (1st choice, 3rd overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, used to get 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 would say that they needed to find a "Cam Neely" type).
On May 11, 1991, during the 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. This caused him to not return to hockey until 1993, and ultimately retire from hockey in 1996. Neely would play ten seasons with the Bruins, and though his condition made it impossible for him to play more than 49 games due to the incredible pain, 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.
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. Cam Neely was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005.
Off the ice, Cam 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 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.
On September 25, 2007, Cam Neely was appointed Vice President of the Boston Bruins.