|Born||June 6, 1965 |
Comox, British Columbia, Canada
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||218 lb (99 kg; 15 st 8 lb)|
|Played for||Vancouver Canucks|
|NHL Draft||9th overall, 1983|
|Hall of Fame, 2005|
Cam Neely (born Cameron Michael Neely on June 6, 1965) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player who played right wing for the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1983 to 1996. He currently serves as the president of the Boston Bruins.
In 2005, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Early Playing Career
Cam 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 had 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 was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks ninth overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft and played three seasons with them.
Cam was traded along with a draft pick (as a 1st choice, 3rd overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft that was used to take Glen Wesley) to the Boston Bruins for Barry Pederson. Vancouver Canucks head coach Tom Watt was not impressed with Cam's defense which was what made him tradeable.
In his first full season following the trade, Cam's 36 goals led the club, and his 72 points more than doubled his previous year's performance. In the same season, he also spent 143 minutes in the penalty box
His 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, Cam was as devastating with his body checks and fists as he was with his goal scoring exploits. He became the archetype of the power forward and earned the nickname "Bam-Bam Cam".
On May 3, 1991, during Game 3 of the 1991 Prince of Wales Conference Finals, Cam was checked by Ulf Samuelsson and injured on the play, and was hit again to the knee in game 6.
Compounding the situation was the fact that Cam developed myositis ossificans in the injured area. The injury kept him out of all but 22 games of the next two seasons and he would only play 162 NHL games for the remainder of his career after the hit because of knee trouble.
In the 1993-94 NHL season, Cam scored his 50th goal in his 44th game; only Wayne 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.
Cam was regularly listed as a healthy scratch in alternate games in order to rest his knee, but it would be a degenerative hip condition that forced him to retire after the 1995-96 NHL season at the age of 31.
In one memorable incident in 1994, the tip of Cam's right pinky finger was cut off through his glove, requiring 10–15 stitches to repair.
After sustaining the injury early in the second period, he received the stitches and returned to the game later that period. He scored an assist, but the Bruins ultimately lost the game against the Devils 2–1.
Cam's intense efforts to come back time and again from his devastating injuries were recognized with his winning of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy after the 1993–94 season.
The Bruins have since retired #8 in his honor, making Cam the tenth player to have a number retired by the team. Despite his shortened career, he 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 Cam did with his 50-goals-in-49-games in the 1993–94 season (despite missing 35 games that season).
Also, only ten players in NHL history scored a better goals per game average over their career than Cam.
Cam 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.
Post NHL Career
In November of 1998, Cam attempted a comeback after being out of hockey for two years.
In a 2008 interview, he said:
"I wish that my lungs felt as good as my hip. If I last four days (of practice) in a row and my hip's barking at me, then that's all she wrote. I know how I felt when I had to retire and I know how I'm feeling now. It's not really how I want to feel. It was fun while I was out there but each day I skated, the pain just kind of lingered a lot longer than I would have liked. I was feeling really good and had started getting some different treatment. I practiced a few times with the Bruins but after some really hard practices, realized there was just no way I could continue."
On September 25, 2007, Cam was appointed the Vice President of the Boston Bruins and was named President of the team on June 16, 2010.
On June 15, 2011, he did as President of the team that which he could not do as a player: his team won the Stanley Cup when the Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 to win the final series 4 games to 3.
|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||—||—||—||—||—|
Cam grew up in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Both of his parents died of cancer.
He remains active in the Cam Neely Foundation run in conjunction with Tufts Medical Center, where patients and their families avail themselves of accommodation at the "Neely House" while undergoing cancer treatments.
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's name as well as his old nickname "Bam-Bam Cam".
Cam is married and has two children.
He sits on the Board of Directors of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc., which was created by an IPO by Intrawest Corp. on November 1, 2010. Within that Board, he is a Member of the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee.
As an actor, Cam has also appeared on Denis Leary's TV series "Rescue Me", playing a hockey-playing firefighter who wreaks havoc during a NYPD vs. FDNY game.
He made a cameo in the eighth-season premiere of "Cheers" entitled "The Improbable Dream" as a bar patron.
Cam and Lyndon Byers also had a cameo for Boston based band Extreme in their video for their song "Hole Hearted" where they are seen playing a guitar alongside the band.
Furthermore, he portrayed the character of Sea Bass in the Jim Carrey films "Dumb and Dumber," "Me, Myself and Irene" and "Dumb and Dumber To."
He had a small role as himself in the second blockbuster comedy of the Mighty Ducks movie trilogy, "D2: The Mighty Ducks."