Top 10 of 2010: #5 Neely ascends to be Bruins’ eighth president

Neely

TheBruinsBlog.net looks back at the top 10 Bruins moments of calendar year 2010.

Cam Neely can do no wrong in the eyes of most Bruins fans.

So when it came time to pick the eighth president in franchise history, and the first since Harry Sinden left the position in 2006, the Jacobs family couldn’t have done better than the Hall-of-Fame winger who’d spent the previous three years as the club’s vice president.

In June, Bruins ownership named Neely president — meaning he would be both in charge of the hockey side and the business side of one of the most storied franchises in the NHL.

“Well when I was first offered the position to join the team it took me a while to decide to do it. I certainly welcomed the challenge after I decided to do it,” Neely said that summer’s day. “The biggest thing for me was really the commitment that I saw from our ownership group which, at times, everybody had questioned, but they certainly have given our general manager the resources to put a product on the ice that competes for the Stanley Cup and you can see how things have changed because of that.

“I certainly wanted to see how I would do in the three years since and if I am enjoying it, and quite I frankly found myself enjoying it more than I expected to. It’s been fun working with [general manager] Peter [Chiarelli] — there’s been some times where it hasn’t been so much fun depending on how the team is playing but that is part of sports. And as I said, I look forward to the challenges ahead. This is a huge honor and opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to us giving the fans what they deserve which is the Stanley Cup.”

The Neely promotion was part of a summer of forgiveness between the Bruins and their fans, as the team tried to make up for its historic playoff collapse. While Neely’s impact wasn’t immediately outwardly visible, it is assumed that over time the Bruins on and off the ice will reflect Neely’s vision of a team that’s always on the cusp of a championship and always works hard.

Most important, the Bruins gained a face of the franchise — one that almost every Bruins fan seemingly has faith in.

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