Now a Hall of Famer and Bruins team president, Neely is pumped for his chance to finally win a Stanley Cup.
The Canucks drafted Neely in the first round (ninth overall) of the 1983 NHL entry draft. He played three seasons in Vancouver before the Bruins acquired him, along with Barry Pederson, for Glen Wesley on June 6, 1986.
The rest, as they say, is history.
During his career, Neely played in two Stanley Cup finals (1988 and 1990) but never had the chance to hoist the sacred chalice. He’s hoping to do so as team president as his Bruins get set to face the Vancouver Canucks.
“It would be by far the next best thing, there’s no question,” Neely said. “Absolutely no question. When you’re a player, your goal is to make the NHL. Once you get into the league, you want to win the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to do it in a uniform, but hopefully I can do it in a suit.”
A lot of good things have occurred on June 6 for Neely.
Not only was he traded to Boston on that day 25 years ago, it’s also his birthday and Game 3 of this series will be played on June 6 in Boston.
“It was pointed out to me,” Neely said of Game 3. “When I saw that date, it also happens to be my birthday and [being traded] was an interesting birthday gift that I was given. I don’t know if it was from the Canucks or Boston when I got traded. Yeah, Game 3, that will be an exciting day.”
When Neely was named team president on June 16, 2010, he made it his goal to help the Bruins organization return to prominence in Boston alongside the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics, who have all won championships in the last decade.
“It’s important, yes,” Neely said. “It’s important for a lot of reasons. It’s been a long time that the Bruins have won a Cup. We have an amazing fan base that has come back in droves the last few years and supported us again like they did in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. They deserve a Cup. They really deserve a Cup. We’re going to do all we can to try and realize that for them.”