Neely

BOSTON — This is what the Bruins brought Cam Neely back to thire organization to do, and why they promoted him all the way to president of the franchise.

Just like his playing style on the ice, Neely is a straight-shooter as a front-office type. He’s not afraid to show emotion or light a fire under those around him. And if Neely’s interview on the Felger & Massarotti show on 98.5 The Sports Hub this afternoon wasn’t an attempt to raise the stakes for his general manager Peter Chiarelli then my ears must be playing tricks on me.

When asked by The Sports Hub’s hosts if a deal is close, Neely said “yes.” Earlier in the interview, although he stated he didn’t want major changes made to the roster, he spoke as though pretty much anything is on the table in terms of trade bait — even the option to trade Toronto’s first-round pick for a rental player.

Now we all know that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli likes to play everything close to the vest. He rarely acknowledges rumors and his answers in on-air interviews and meetings with the print media often sound like they’ve been pulled straight from a congressional hearing.

So now Neely is airing Boston’s business in public. And how bad will the GM look if he doesn’t get a deal done, or the deals he swings aren’t big enough to appease the masses?

The gauntlet has been thrown down by Neely, and most wouldn’t have it any other way. Despite his declarations about liking this current club’s makeup and the chemistry of the team, Neely seemingly still thinks an upgrade is in order.

For Chiarelli to say on the rival station that he’d “bet on it” when talking about getting a deal done is one thing. For Neely to basically take all excuses out of the equation and leave it up to Chiarelli to close things out is almost a mandate to get something done or face the consequences when a team the GM doesn’t supplement fails in the second round of the playoffs again.

Cam Neely isn’t challenging his teammates to join him in the corners anymore. But he’s obviously demanding his underlings in management to give maximum effort in the personnel-upgrade department.